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Assam eyes September restart for schools, colleges

Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Assam government is “mentally prepared” to reopen educational institutions from September 1 but will wait for the Centre’s nod, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The schools, he told journalists on Saturday, will not be allowed to let in students up to Class IV while restarting higher classes will entail riders such as “mandatory” COVID-19 tests for all teachers and staff before August 30.

Also Read | Assam teachers’ body seeks change in question paper pattern

The other conditions include conducting Classes V-VIII at a village field or an open space with a maximum of 15 students in attendance at a time. “What we envisage is the ancient gurukul system that students living far away can also attend,” Dr. Sarma said.

The government is also working on a model where educated youth can volunteer to assist teachers in taking classes. “Such aides will be provided with a certificate that can help them in the long run,” he said without elaborating.

Classes on school premises will only be for students of Classes IX to XII. While IX and XI students will have classes twice a week, X and XII students will have four-days-a-week classes.

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

Also Read | Assam move to close non-performing schools panned

Private schools could also take classes following the guidelines, he added, insisting it would be a voluntary exercise initiated in the government institutions.

In colleges, classes will be held for only the final semester students. “We will make arrangement for students who study elsewhere but are stranded at home to attend classes in nearby colleges,” the Minister said.

Vice-Chancellors have been advised to decided on when and how to conduct classes in their universities.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 5:40:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-eyes-september-restart-for-schools-colleges/article32247865.ece

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