School vacations curtailed; Diwali break from Nov 9-20, 8 days for Christmas



In a bid to make up for instructional hours lost to the pandemic, the Education Department has formally curtailed school vacations for Diwali and Christmas.

An order issued on Friday revised dates for Diwali and Christmas vacations for 2020. 

The Diwali vacation will now commence on November 9 and conclude on November 20, inclusive of both the days. 

Similarly, the Christmas break will be for just eight days from December 24 to 31, the order said. 

Academic work in schools in the current academic year got delayed by nearly a month due to the lockdowns and the uncertainty of schools holding physical classes for fear of their inability to ensure physical distancing among students. 

The option of online classes resorted to also consumed time to fall in place and achieve a rhythm of regularity thus losing valuable instructional hours.

The authorities including the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, which conducts the crucial SSC and HSSC public examinations for class X and XII students, also slashed syllabi by approximately 30 percent for all classes from I to XII. 

It may be recalled that the Education department was of the view of permit physical classes in schools, at least initially for Class X and XII students. A decision was expected to be taken after another round of consultation with PTAs across the State.

A top Education Department official had said heads of institutions -- secondary and higher secondary schools -- are being asked to discuss the issue with PTAs.

The feedback from the PTAs, which will also discuss the logistics of ensuring social distancing, sanitizing and other precautionary measures, will help in taking a call on whether to open schools or not.

The official said, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who also holds the education portfolio, will then hold a meeting to decide on the issue of re-opening schools for physical classes. 

The government had also set up a taskforce committee to finalise the higher education policy by studying the new education policy 2020 (NEP 2020). The report is expected to be submitted at the end of February.

The committee has appointed 5 sub-committees and tasks have been allotted to these sub-committees. One sub-committee under the leadership of the IIT director will decide about the profession education syllabus.  

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