After six months from the date of closure of schools due to the pandemic, the state secondary education department has notified the SOPs for reopening of educational institutions in Assam from classes IX to XII. Educational institutions have been closed from March 15. Though online teaching is on, many students have not been able to access it, due to various constraints.
An order issued by the principal secretary to the state secondary education department B Kalyan Chakravarthy stated that the SOP will come into effect from September 21 and shall be operative for the next 15 days. Subsequently, the SOP will be modified after observing the situation for 15 days from September 21, he said in the order.
“We will be holding regular conferences with deputy commissioners, after reopening the institutions. Data of all students will be carefully monitored. This is the first major step to take education back on track after the breakout of Covid-19,” Chakravarthy told TOI.
According to the general guidelines in the SOP, students from class IX, X, XI, and XII will be able to come to the schools and colleges, while all other classes will remain suspended. It stated that for the students of classes IX and XII, classes will be conducted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On the other hand, for the X and XI standards, classes will be conducted on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“For every class, the students should be divided into two batches, of course, when in any class, the total number of students is less than 20, then division in batch will not be required. The first batch of students will come to school at 9 am and they will be there in schools up to 12 noon, for the second batch of students, the classes will be held from 1 pm to 4 pm,” read the SOP.
It said the respective school authority will ensure that before the commencement of the classes for the second batch, the first batch students are sent back home.
“Students will come to the school provided their parents have no objection and as such written undertaking/confirmation should be produced in the schools,” the SOP added, further clarifying that under the pandemic situation, the total number of teaching and non-teaching staff in the educational institutions should be restricted to 50%.
Teachers with severe co-morbid conditions such as chronic kidney disease, type-two diabetics with severe condition, heart surgery, and suffering from cancer will be exempted by the head of the institutions from attending schools, the SOP said. Head of the institutions have also been asked to be in touch with the health authority for regular random checking, random testing of the teachers, and students on a weekly basis, covering a maximum of 10% of the teachers and students in the given date.
All schools (with classes IX to XII) have been asked in the SOP to specifically ensure the continuation of online and distance learning, despite the reopening of the educational institutions. “Instead of biometric attendance, alternate arrangements for contactless attendance shall be made by the school administration. At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible,” the SOP said.