The Assam government made preliminary plans to reopen educational institutions on September 1, but the final decision will depend on the centre’s guidelines, State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.
All school teachers and staff will need to be tested, and the Education and Health departments will coordinate efforts for the tests, which will take place from August 23-30, the minister said during a press conference here.
“We have drawn up a preliminary school reopening plan, but it is still open for further discussion with parents and other stakeholders and will only be implemented in accordance with Union government guidelines,” said Sarma.
The schools will remain closed to students up to grade 4 until the end of September, he said.
Classes are held in open spaces such as the playground or the school courtyard for grades 5-8, he said.
The classes are divided into sections of 15 students and only these many students can take courses at the same time, he said.
Students in grades 9 and 11 attend classes in their classrooms two days a week, with 15 students each. Those in Standard 10 and 12 will take courses four days a week.
Only 15 students will be present in a classroom at a time, and classes will only take place three hours a day, the minister said.
“Efforts are being made to ensure maximum social distance between schools that initiate shift systems with a particular class at a particular time of day,” he said.
At the degree level, the courses are only held for the last semester, while the universities make a decision for postgraduates.
All of these suggestions will be posted on the Education Department’s website, and people can submit their suggestions by August 20, Sarma said.
“We will work on these proposals, but will also wait for the Centre’s policy before making a final decision,” said Sarma.
The minister further said that the Assam Secondary Education Board (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) were also asked to consider either reducing the curriculum or providing maximum options in the questionnaire so that students do not Have difficulty when part of the curriculum has not been covered.
Educational institutions in Assam have been closed since March 20 after the outbreak of the corona virus.