The coronavirus pandemic, which has swept around world, poses new challenges and requirements for education. In Uzbekistan, since March 16, after the detection of the first case of coronavirus infection, the traditional educational process in schools has been temporarily suspended. Students were transferred to distance learning.
As the new academic year approaches, all parents are asking themselves: when and how will the educational process be resumed in schools? Considering that the number of schoolchildren in the country is more than 6 million 200 thousand, we can say that today this issue worries almost every family.
In this regard, the Head of the state instructed the government to develop a comprehensive and deeply thought-out decision, having studied the opinion of people, in consultation with parents and teachers.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Public Education conducted a survey to study in detail the opinions of parents. The survey involved 5.5 million parents, 76 percent of them supported the implementation of the educational process in the traditional way, at school. 24 percent of those who participated in the survey preferred distance learning.
In addition, the situation in the world was studied. Recently, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that coronavirus pandemic could be over within the next two years. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, as it was emphasized at the meeting, we must all be ready to live, work and educate our children in a pandemic.
During the dialogue with teachers, most of them noted that they missed their students, were looking forward to the opening of schools and expressed their readiness to return to the traditional form of education and upbringing.
Taking into account the results of the study, it was decided to organize the educational process in schools in two ways simultaneously – in the traditional form, as the majority of parents wished, and in the distance form.
“If I was asked who the heroes of today are, I would say that these, along with medical workers, are our respected teachers”, the President said.
The Head of the state noted that not enough attention is paid to increasing the authority of teachers and mentors in society.
“This is not only about material incentives. We must create an atmosphere of high respect and reverence for every selfless teacher who is dedicated to the education and upbringing of youth. After all, how much effort does it take to educate one child up to grade 11?! Much depends, especially on the class teachers, we must listen to them, support them. If there are no changes in school, there will be no changes in any sphere”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Instructions were given on creation of feature-length films and TV series, TV programs about selfless labor and high moral character of teachers and doctors.
The current measures for organizing the educational process in a pandemic were discussed at the videoconference.
Hokims of districts and cities, heads of sectors were instructed to fully provide schools with basic necessities in accordance with sanitary requirements. By September 5, the local health service centers will study the state of readiness of schools in their districts for the new academic year and will conduct additional training for school staff. This will be carried out with the aim of providing practical assistance to schools and increasing parental confidence.
The decision to resume the activity of schools will be made by local councils of people’s deputies based on the epidemiological situation in their districts.
The Ministry of Public Education was instructed to start the new academic year from September 14, taking into account the decisions of the councils and the proposals of parents, as well as develop and test a scheme of actions in schools.
Based on this experiment, each step will be clearly defined, down to who will meet the students at school, how they will follow to classes, and how often the premises will be ventilated. All this will help to quickly adapt and ensure the safety of children who miss school for an almost six-month break.
It was noted that in these difficult times, it is more important than ever before to have constant contact between the school principal, class teacher and parents. It is necessary to monitor the progress of distance learning students on a daily basis.
The necessity of high-quality preparation of video lessons, involvement of state and non-state TV channels in this process, regular broadcasting of lessons on 3 TV channels was emphasized.
The Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications was instructed to ensure the proper quality of the digital TV signal and Internet speed at places, as well as to conduct a full test of communication systems in remote areas. It was noted that a preferential tariff plan “School” for Internet access will be introduced for students.
Particular attention was paid to the issues of ensuring cleanliness and order in schools, disinfection of classrooms and open areas.
At the meeting, it was noted that employees of internal and national guard authorities will be attached to each school, who will monitor compliance with order and quarantine requirements. At least one health worker from the local polyclinic or health center will be assigned to monitor the health of students on an ongoing basis.
Research shows that in young children, the disease caused by the coronavirus is mild. However, students can become carriers of the infection. There is also no denying the risk of infecting teachers or family members, especially the elderly.
According to the resolution of the President “On additional measures for social support of the population”, from August 26 to October 1 this year, teachers will be vaccinated against influenza free of charge. In addition, instructions were given to encourage teachers.
The importance of taking safety measures for school activities, as well as timely warning the school administration if a student’s family is sick with coronavirus, was emphasized.
Responsible ministries have been instructed to purchase pyrometers and dispensers for schools and deliver them to the regions. The hokims are responsible for disinfecting schools, providing them with antiseptics and medical masks.
“The system will work and the wishes of our people will be fulfilled if each leader deeply feels his task, approaches his work with a sense of duty and responsibility”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
At the meeting, the ministers and hokims of the regions provided information on the discussed issues.