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Assam prepares to reopen schools, colleges from September 1

However, it will depend on the decision of the Central government, Assam’s Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Published: 01st August 2020 08:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2020 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Assam government is preparing to reopen schools and colleges from September 1.

“We are mentally preparing to reopen schools and colleges from September 1. However, it will depend on the decision of the Central government,” Assam’s Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists on Saturday.

There will be no school for students up to class IV. The reopening of schools will come with a set of riders. One of them is that all teachers and staff have to “mandatorily” undergo the Covid-19 tests before August 30.

“For the students of V-VIII, the classes can be conducted at a village field or an open space. A maximum of 15 students can attend the classes at a time. Students whose schools are located away can attend such classes. These will be like gurukuls of ancient times,” the Minister explained.

Educated youth can volunteer to assist the teachers by taking classes and they will be provided with a certificate. Without elaborating, Sarma said the certificate could benefit them in the long run.

He said the private schools could also take the classes by following the guidelines. He said it was a voluntary exercise which the state government wanted to start.

The government would allow schools to conduct classes on their campus for the students of classes IX to XII. The students of IX and XI will have the classes twice a week. The classes will be four days a week for the students of X and XII.

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

As regards colleges, he said the classes would be conducted only for the final semester students. Students, who study elsewhere but are stranded at home, can attend the classes in nearby colleges. The decision on the conduct of classes in the universities will be taken by the respective vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, Sarma welcomed the decision on National Education Policy (NEP) describing it as “historic”. He said the state government would constitute a 40-member committee to prepare a blueprint for its implementation in the state.

Assam so far recorded 40,269 Covid-19 cases including 98 deaths. Currently, there are 9,811 active cases. The state has a population of 3.3 crore, according to NRC data.

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