Educational institutions inAssam, which have been closed since the lockdown in March,will reopen from November 2 with strict compliance of COVIDprotocols, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said onSaturday.
Educational institutions will reopen for students fromclass six to the postgraduate level with certain restrictionsin place, he said.
Schools will, however, remain closed for students upto class five, he said.
Private schools and coaching centres can reopen fromNovember 2 and must follow the COVID regulations. Each of themwill have to remain in contact with the health department andperiodic testing will be conducted in these institutes, Sarmasaid.
The government has no objection if the private schoolswant to continue with online classes, the minister said.
Joining school will, however, be a voluntary exerciseon the part of the students. Their guardians will take thedecision on sending them to school or not, and the necessaryattendance required will not be applicable this year, he said.
The Unlock 5 guidelines of the ministry of homeaffairs have allowed the schools to reopen across the countryafter October 15 in a graded manner. The decision will,however, be taken by the state governments and theadministration of the Union territories.
Sarma said the Assam government will not issue anydirective regarding the restarting of classes at thepostgraduate level. The university executive council concernedwill decide on it and the rules to be followed.
The education minister said all governmentpolytechnics and engineering institutions will have “normalface-to-face classes from November 2 but hostels will notreopen”.
Those who are unable to attend classes due to lack ofhostel facilities can continue with online classes and as suchthere will be a blend of classroom and online teaching, hesaid.
Undergraduate classes will also begin from November 2with each section having not more than 25 students. If theclasses are held in halls, the number of students can beproportionately increased.
For the first semester students, classes will be heldtwice a week on Monday and Thursday, for the third on Tuesday,Wednesday and Friday, for the fifth on Tuesday, Wednesday,Friday and Saturday. Classes will be held in two batches inthe morning and afternoon.
Results are yet to be announced for second and finalsemesters.
As hostels will remain closed, undergraduate studentswill be allowed to enrol temporarily for a month in a collegein their respective home towns and attend classes.
The decision regarding reopening of hostels will betaken on December 1, he said.
At the school level, classes will be held in twobatches – from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and the next from 1:30 pmto 4:30 pm with not more than 25 students in each section.
Examinations will be held only for class eight whichwill be conducted by schools, while board examinations will beheld for those in classes 10 and 12.
Students of other classes will be promoted to thenext higher class without any examination, Sarma said.
The syllabus will be reduced by the State Council ofEducation, Research and Training and this will be notifiedwithin 15 days, the minister said.
Students of lower primary schools in rural areas cango to institutions to get their midday meals and the teacherscan engage with them in informal academic discussions, but noclasses will be held, he said.
The children are currently being provided with dryfood and the school authorities can slowly move to cookedmeals depending on the situation, the minister said.
The decision to reopen residential schools will betaken in December, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)