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Assam: Govt. Plans To Reopen Schools, Colleges From September 1 Details

by Dhrubajyoti Haloi
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Assam: Govt. Plans To Reopen Schools, Colleges From September 1 Details: Schools, colleges in Assam may open on September 1. The Assam government has made preliminary plans to reopen educational institutions on September 1 but the final decision will depend on the directives of the Centre, state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

The Assam government has made preliminary plans to reopen educational institutions on September 1 but the final decision will depend on the directives of the Centre, state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

All teachers and employees of the schools will have to get themselves tested, and the Education and Health departments will coordinate the efforts for the tests that will be conducted from August 23-30, the minister said while addressing a press conference here.

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“We have drawn up a preliminary plan for reopening schools but it is still open for further discussions with parents and other stakeholders, and will be implemented only in accordance with the directives of the Union government,” Sarma said.

Schools will remain closed for students up to Class 4 till September-end, he said.

Assam State  Schools, colleges in Assam may open on September 1

Assam health, finance and education minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have been planning to open the schools from September 1. But the final decision will be taken by the central government“.

As per initial planning the education department has come up with, all teachers and non-teaching staff will have to get themselves tested for COVID-19 and that they will have to get themselves tested between Aug 23 and 30.

On the other hand, classes from nursery to IV will not reopen even on September 1 while classes from V to VIII will be held not in classrooms but in playgrounds and open spaces.

No classes will be held till Class IV even on Sep 1 and that the plan, if things get better, is to hold classes from Class V onwards. From Class V to Class VIII, classes will be held in playgrounds and other open spaces and not in classrooms,” the Assam Education Minister said.

For Class IX to Class XII, classes will be held inside school and college classrooms. While students of Class IX and Class XI, classes will be held two days a week while students of Class X and Class XII will have classes for four days in a week,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said, adding that classes in one day will be of three hour duration and that teachers should divide students into sections with one section having maximum 15 students.

Assam prepares to reopen schools, colleges from September 1

Classes will be held in open spaces such as the playground or courtyard of the school for students of standard 5-8, he said.

The classes will be divided into sections of 15 students and only these many students can attend classes at a time, he said.

Students of standard 9 and 11 will attend classes in their classrooms for two days a week with 15 students being present at a time. Those in standard 10 and 12 will attend classes four days a week.

Only 15 students will be present at a time in a classroom and classes will be held for only three hours in a day, the minister said.

“Efforts will be made to ensure maximum social distancing with schools initiating shift systems with a particular class coming at an allotted time of the day,” he said.

At the degree level, classes will be held only for the final semesters while for the post-graduate students, the universities will take a decision.

Only 15 students will be present at a time in a classroom and classes will be held for only three hours in a day, the minister said.

“Efforts will be made to ensure maximum social distancing with schools initiating shift systems with a particular class coming at an allotted time of the day,” he said.

At the degree level, classes will be held only for the final semesters while for the post-graduate students, the universities will take a decision.The Assam government is preparing to reopen schools and colleges from September 1.

“We are mentally preparing to reopen schools and colleges from September 1. However, it will depend on the decision of the Central government,” Assam’s Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists on Saturday.

There will be no school for students up to class IV. The reopening of schools will come with a set of riders. One of them is that all teachers and staff have to “mandatorily” undergo the Covid-19 tests before August 30.

“For the students of V-VIII, the classes can be conducted at a village field or an open space. A maximum of 15 students can attend the classes at a time. Students whose schools are located away can attend such classes. These will be like gurukuls of ancient times,” the Minister explained.

Educated youth can volunteer to assist the teachers by taking classes and they will be provided with a certificate. Without elaborating, Sarma said the certificate could benefit them in the long run.

He said the private schools could also take the classes by following the guidelines. He said it was a voluntary exercise which the state government wanted to start.

The government would allow schools to conduct classes on their campus for the students of classes IX to XII. The students of IX and XI will have the classes twice a week. The classes will be four days a week for the students of X and XII.

There will be two shifts of three hours each and a maximum of 15 students will be allowed to sit in one room. Sarma said the timings would be such that the students of two classes would not meet each other.

As regards colleges, he said the classes would be conducted only for the final semester students. Students, who study elsewhere but are stranded at home, can attend the classes in nearby colleges. The decision on the conduct of classes in the universities will be taken by the respective vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, Sarma welcomed the decision on National Education Policy (NEP) describing it as “historic”. He said the state government would constitute a 40-member committee to prepare a blueprint for its implementation in the state.

Assam so far recorded 40,269 Covid-19 cases including 98 deaths. Currently, there are 9,811 active cases. The state has a population of 3.3 crore, according to NRC data.

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