Updated: August 25, 2021 7:36:35 pm
The Gujarat government on Wednesday decided to reopen schools for classes 6-8 from September 2.
The decision taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will be applicable to over 32 lakh students enrolled in more than 30,000 government and self-financing schools across the state.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that after detailed discussions in this regard, keeping in mind the future of students, the state government has decided to start physical classes for students in class 6-8.
“Since the government was reviewing the situation for sometime in consultation with education and health departments, the decision to open schools after Janmashtami festival has been taken in the Cabinet meeting today,” Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told the Indian Express.
However, online education will also continue for these classes since attending offline classes is not mandatory. Also, students attending schools have to submit a consent letter from their parents.
Earlier, schools were reopened for these upper primary classes on February 18, that continued for a month before they closed again on March 18 due to spike in Covid-19 cases.
The private schools have been demanding to resume physical classes. On Tuesday, the Association for Promotion of Prominent Schools had urged to the state government to allow reopening of schools and conducting compulsory physical exams from class 6 onwards.
The schools will reopen for classes 6-8 too with 50 per cent capacity, on the lines of classes 9-12, which resumed from July this year.
Giving more details in this regard, the education minister said the decision was taken also considering the fact that the number of Covid-19 cases has been on a decline in the state..
Regarding the standard operating procedures to be followed by schools, the minister added that schools have to adhere to the SOPs issued for schools for classes 9-12 and other Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government from time to time.
As per the guidelines issued by the government to all schools irrespective its affiliation, the school authorities have to ensure social distancing between two students, face masks are made compulsory along with other Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The students are not allowed to gather on the campus ground, parking areas or any other areas and after the class, students are not allowed to gather and leave the campus immediately. The entry and exit of students have to be arranged in batches to avoid overcrowding. Also, all kinds of sports activities where students have to come in physical contact are banned.
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