Updated: February 13, 2021 8:51:41 pm
The Gujarat government on Saturday decided to reopen schools for classes 6 to 8 from February 18, around an year after the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak in March.
The decision applies to all government, grant-in-aid and self-financing schools across all boards in the state. The students should submit a consent letter from parents for sending them to schools and attendance is not mandatory.
Also, schools offering online classes will have to continue these for students opting out of physical classes. The state government’s initiative of home learning through DD Girnar and Vande Gujarat Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) channels will also continue.
The education department has reopened schools and colleges in phases. Earlier, on January 11, classes 10 and 12, classes for final year of undergraduate courses and both years of postgraduate courses resumed.
Subsequently, on February 1, classes 9 and 11 were resumed followed by first year of undergraduate courses from February 8.
“There might be a delay but the decision to open classes in phases was a conscious one to avoid any uncontrollable circumstances that might have arisen. Now with the support of parents and declining Covid 19 cases, it was apt to resume classes 6-8,” Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told The Indian Express.
“Keeping the students’ numbers and subject requirement in mind, schools have to decide on the class strength. Also, following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Centre, social distancing between two students have to be ensured. Further, the school principals or the taluka primary education officers will decide on what kind of arrangement is required for which subject,” the Government Resolution issued by the state education department Saturday stated.
However, the decision holds little significance for physical classes as most of the schools are nearing completion of the curriculum for primary classes. The decision is taken more as a facilitator for schools to conduct final examinations in schools for the academic session 2020-21 and to help ease out regular physical classes for the coming academic session. A few self-financing schools from Ahmedabad have recently written to the state government to allow on-campus examinations for primary classes.
The state government claims that the decision was taken for children’s academic future also because of the steady decline in the Covid-19 cases.
.”We have issued instructions to all district education officers and primary education officers to ensure SOPs are followed,” Education Secretary Vinod Rao stated.
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