Dear Parents, Teachers and Students,
In an academic year rocked by the pandemic, we can understand how hard it has been for most of us to keep our heads out of the water. Even now the pandemic is unrelenting and all of us are still in a situation charged with stress. Amidst all this unpredictable and challenging times, all of us are working tirelessly to see that our children’s education is not compromised. In this endeavour, with the unrelenting support from everyone, we are very sure that together we will give a good finish to the academic session. After three consecutive meetings in the second week of January 2021, the SAT/HoDs members keeping in view the safety for all, we are very happy to share the following resolutions to see that we end and begin well:
Winter Vacation and Reporting Time for Classes VII, VIIIs and IXs:
The winter vacation has already begun for our class VIIs and VIIIs of 2020 for whom only online classes as per Education in Emergency (EiE), Adapted Curriculum (AC) was rolled out and online assessments were conducted in December 2020. We are happy to share that there was 100% pass percentage results achieved in classes VIIs and VIIIs.
Officially the students of classes VII (new students) and VIII (VIIs of 2020) are expected to report on 15th February 2021 and IXs (VIIIs of 2020) on 1st April 2021. However, since we have almost 600 students of classes X and XII taking the BCSEA Examinations till 13th March 2021, we are tentatively planning to begin classes for Class VII, VIIIs, and IXs altogether on 22nd March 2021. Accordingly, a boarding student must report on Sunday 21st March 2021 if all goes as planned.
Boarding Students IXs and XIs (all three streams):
- Classes: Although the syllabus is complete for IXs and XIs, the teachers will continue to teach and see if they can even cover some foundation chapters of X and XII in core subjects. In essence, as the boarding students have the additional advantage of time; besides the revisions, teachers could continue classes in self containment mode till last week of January 2021.
- Term II/Annual Examinations for IXs and XIs: It will begin from 28th January 2021 and may go up to 15th February 2021. The assessments will be as per the requirements of the entire Education in Emergency (EiE) Prioritized Curriculum (PC) as mandated. The extra foundation topics of X and XII will not be assessed in the AAT IV (Term II/Final Examination) promotion examinations.
- Owing to less time (barely two weeks and that too will go mostly into quarantine) and high risks of transmission, please note that the boarding students of classes IXs and XIs on leave from red zones will not report to school. They will attend the online classes (Google/Zoom) and take the online promotion exam. The subject teachers also have their Academic Ability Tests (AAT I and AAT II) to take into account. Provision is kept to call them earlier in March 2021 to catch up with the others. Again, during the vacation, there will be some form of online remediation classes (Zoom) mainly in core subjects to see that students are kept academically engaged, to cover up for those who missed classes and also to guide them with their project(s) – as required in the subject(s).
Local Day Students and students on leave from green zones Classes IXs and XIs (all three streams):
- Classes: As usual, online classes (Both Google and Zoom) for them will continue until the schools reopens. In case, the school closure continues, or happens to close even after reopening, then the online classes will continue and end for them also by last week of January 2021.
- Examinations (will be online mode only if schools are closed): It will begin from 28th January 2021 and may go up to 16th February 2021. The assessment will be as per the requirements of the entire Education in Emergency (EiE) Prioritized Curriculum (PC) as mandated. The extra foundation topics of X and XII, even if covered will not be assessed in the AAT IV (Term II/Final Examination) promotion examinations.
For Both Day/Boarding Students IXs and XIs (all three streams) promoted to X and XII respectively in 2021:
- Winter Vacation: If all spells well, the classes IX and XI students will go on vacation in a staggered manner between 6th February 2021 and 17th February 2021. As already mentioned, during the vacation, there will be some form of online remediation classes (Zoom) mainly in core subjects to see that students are kept academically engaged and also to guide them with their project(s) – as required in the subject(s).
- School Reopening for promoted students of IXs and XIs: 1st April 2021 is the official opening (for the next batches of X and XII) but depending on the coverage and especially for those students who missed the face to face (F2F) instruction because of the lockdowns and school closure or leaves, students may be asked to report anytime (again in a staggered manner) between 21st March 2021 and 4th April 2021 - that is a week or so after the classes X and XII have completed their BCSEA examinations.
Return of Stranded Students of classes Xs and XIIs from Green Zones (all three streams):
- For any kind of intra/inter Dzongkhag movements, the students and parent(s)/guardian(s) are requested to strictly comply with the Covid 19 TFs (National/Dzongkhag) and MoH’s Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs)/Health Protocols. The school will not be responsible for any breach of protocol(s) or problems by any individual(s) for having to report to school.
- Classes for X and XII local day students will resume as soon as the schools are opened in Punakha Dzongkhag. Even the boarding students on leave from the green zones will be accepted in the hostels after a thorough scrutiny by school Health and Medical Support Services Team (HMSST).
- Depending on the travel history/health status of individual student(s), the School Health and Medical Support Services Team (HMSST) reserves the right to keep students under observation/school quarantine or refer them for further medical examinations. In the event that a student needs special medical care, parents/guardians will have to help their child as the school will face difficulty in attending to such individual needs during examination time.
Return of Stranded Students of classes Xs and XIIs from Red Zones/High Risk Areas (all three streams):
- For any kind of intra/inter Dzongkhag movements, the students and parent(s)/guardian(s) will have to strictly comply with the Covid 19 TFs (National/Dzongkhag) and MoH’s Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs)/Health Protocols. The school will not be responsible for any breach of protocol(s) or problems for having to report to school. Each one should see that they take utmost care to see that one does not become a victim or make others victims to the virus.
- All students will have to complete the mandatory quarantine implemented by the Covid 19 TFs (National/Dzongkhag). Please note that parents/guardians should coordinate and arrange on their own the aforementioned mandatory quarantine between 24th January 2021 and 7th February 2021. It is to be noted that as an additional precautionary measure the school will again keep the students for a week in separate quarantine hostels (between 1st February 2021 and 14th February 2021). Same arrangements must be made by day students/PG students after completing the mandatory quarantine implemented by the Covid 19 TFs (National/Dzongkhag). Separate classes (includes online) will be conducted and all logistics taken care of with utmost professionalism for these students. Once again, in the event that a student needs special medical care, parents/guardians will have to help their child as the school will face difficulty in attending to such individual needs during examination time.
BCSEA Examinations 2020 batch of classes X and XII (all three streams):
- Unless postponed by MoE due to the pandemic, as scheduled (copies attached), the BCSEA Examinations will begin from Thursday 18th February 2021 (practical examinations from 18th to 28th February 2021 and theory from 1st March 2021 up to 13th March 2021) and end on Saturday, 13th March 2021.
Additional Information for classes X and XII (all three streams) 2020:
- All boarding students are expected to leave the campus latest by 14th March 2021. Parents/Guardians must ensure that their child/children are taken care to report safely home.
- Class XII students are advised to work on their further studies (online registrations both RUB/DAHE, etc…), keeping as many options open – those which may be subject to one’s performance. Also, get important documents such as citizenship ID card, Security Clearance, Health Certificate, academic transcripts, achievement certificates, etc… all ready so that it does not pose problems later after the results are declared.
- Class Xs promoted to XI must decide with your parents whether you would want to continue in UA or not. Again, keep options open; consider government policies, your favoured stream (reasons for your choice and criteria to be met – including choice of optional subjects in the stream) and other advantages and disadvantages before you take the final decision – even fees, scholarships/concession offers, boarding or day students status, etc...
A student wanting to leave UA after class X will have to immediately process (after the declaration of BCSE - Class X Results) for school leaving certificate (SLC) through the class teacher. The school is not responsible for placement of class X students who wish to join some other schools. It is the duty of the parents/guardians to work out with the concerned agency/school.
In any case, if a student is deciding to continue in UA, then he or she MUST update with the class teacher to see that your admission status is updated – a UA student need not have to fill a new admission form if his/her admission to class XI is confirmed by the respective Admission Desk 2021.
At this juncture, the SAT wishes to maintain that we feel it is of considerable importance for parents to share your valuable insights on the above issues or any other matters pertaining to your child’s education in UA. Please note that we will be mindful not to share any sensitive issues. My email id: email@example.com
Meanwhile, kindly keep in touch with your child’s class teacher/subject teacher(s). Definitely, we will always keep you abreast on important information and developments from the school through your child’s class teacher and on our website: www.ugyenacademy.edu.bt
Before we conclude, and as always, the SAT thanks each one of you for your support and understanding as we, as a country and as Bhutanese, responded to the unexpected invasion of COVID-19 in early March 2020. We thank all for helping us to live up to our EiE Pledge, “My Students, My Responsibility - MSMR” (Versions 1 to 14) ever since the EiE curriculum (both Prioritized and Adapted) were rolled out in an outstanding mode – a herculean task accomplished.
Finally and most importantly, we remain forever indebted for the unconditional love, care, and concern we receive all the time from our precious Wangchuck Dynasty; the relentless efforts of our government; the sacrifices being made by the frontline workers; the perpetual fountain of prayers from our “Zhung Dratshang”. We cannot think of expecting anything more and we are safe because we are given utmost care.
Good Luck and UA Family wishes everyone “A Very Happy 2021 Year”.
Lopen Norbu Gyaltshen
(For School Administration Team SAT)