Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: A couple of days after the Odisha government announced reopening of schools for 10th and 12th standard students from January 8, the Odisha Secondary School Teachers' Association (OSSTA) has expressed deep concerns over lack of teachers in schools which could pose obstacle in government’s order for a 100-day classroom teaching before the final examinations.

Through a press release, OSSTA general secretary Prakash Chandra Mohanty, while welcoming the State government's decision, proposed to fill up the vacancies before the commencement of classes.

"As per the SOPs set by the School and Mass Education Department, maximum 20 to 25 students can sit in one class room during the teaching. If a school has more than 50 or 100 students, around four or five class rooms would be required. Many government, aided and newly aided schools are facing acute staff crunch for teaching. Many schools lack Mathematics, English and Science teachers while some schools are run by only one teacher. In this context, it is impossible to teach students in four or five class rooms," he said through a release.

Mohanty suggested the government to engage retired teachers temporarily to expedite the process of 100-day classroom teaching.

The association also requested the government to exclude Sunday from the working days. "Saturday can be made a full working day. But, teachers as well as students need an off-day for mental balance. Moreover, students can get time on Sunday to complete their home-works of the entire week," the release read.

Similarly, the teachers who come to schools from far off places also need at least one holiday in a week, it stated.

It is worth mentioning that the Odisha government had on Saturday announced to reopen schools for students of standards X and XII from January 8, amid strict adherence to the standard operating procedure fixed by the authorities.

The government had clarified that a maximum of 25 students will be allowed to attend one class and each student will have a specific seat in the class as is usually done during examinations.

The students of standards X and XII will be given 100 days of classroom teaching before they appear in the annual examinations in May.

Classes for students of standard X will be held from January 8 to April 26, while that for students of standard XII from January 8 to April 28, the department said through a notification.

Practical exams for standard X students will be held from April 27 to May 2 and for standard XII students from April 29 to May 14, it added.

The annual board exam of Class X students will be from May 3 to 15, while the Council of Higher Secondary Education will hold exams for Class XII students from May 15 to June 11.