After nine months, schools and colleges in Gujarat will re-open post Diwali on November 23. They have been closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During a meeting of cabinet ministers Wednesday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani took the decision to re-open secondary and higher secondary classes in schools, postgraduate, medical and paramedical courses; and final year classes of undergraduate courses in colleges across the state.
The final year of engineering courses, Industrial Training Institute (ITI) and polytechnic colleges will resume from November 23 as well, Education Minister Bhupendrasingh Chudasama announced after the meeting. To avoid overcrowding in schools, the state government has directed administrations to follow an odd-even formula, wherein classes 9 and 11 will function three days a week and class 10 and 12 the other three days.
The decision is applicable to all schools including government, grant-in-aid and self-financed schools across boards. It also applies to Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya and all other schools under the social justice and empowerment department. At present, there are no online classes as schools are closed till November 18. The state government had announced a 21-day Diwali vacation from October 29.
However, online classes will continue as it is not mandatory for students to go to school. If parents wish to send their children to school, they will have to give their consent to the school in writing. The other measures that schools will have to take include a facility to check students’ temperature everyday through thermal gun, no morning assembly, no sports classes and any other form of gathering by students within the school premises.
All students have been directed to bring their face masks, water bottles, lunch boxes and books from home. Schools have been asked to maintain social distancing in classrooms and ensure availability of medical facilities nearby. A student with any symptoms of Covid-19 will be immediately reported for medical care. While no schools will reopen in any containment zones across the state, parents have been asked to use personal transportation to drop and pick students from school.
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