Bhubaneswar: After a gap of about nine months, schools across Odisha re-opened their classrooms on Friday to students who would shortly be appearing for their board examination, amid strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
A senior Odisha government official said that seats have been arranged in a way to ensure all social distancing norms are followed, as faculty members, with an eye on meeting the 100-day teaching target, imparted lessons to students of classes 10 and 12.
All those who enter school premises will have to wear face masks and use sanitizer, the official said. School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash stated that classes, with not more than 20-25 students, will also be held on Saturdays and Sundays.
The syllabus has been reduced by 30 per cent, and no further deduction would be allowed, he said. According to the official, the government has asked the Health and Family Welfare Department to make arrangements to conduct regular health check-ups in schools.
Amid falling coronavirus cases in the country, several states have taken the decision to reopen schools in phases with strict COVID-19 guidelines. But there are still some states which are still are reviewing the COVID-19 situation in their state before taking a decision to reopen schools.
The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced that schools for classes 10 and 12, and colleges for the final year graduation and post-graduation students will be reopened from January 11. It may be recalled that the educational institutions in the state were closed in March due to COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to reopen schools was taken at the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday.
The Punjab government has decided to reopen all schools from January 7 for students of classes 5 to 12.
State Education minister Vijay Inder Singla said the decision to reopen all government, semi-government and private schools from January 7 has been taken as per the suggestions from stakeholders. The timings of the schools will be from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The Delhi government is yet to take any decision on reopening schools and it is expected that the schools in Delhi would reopen only after COVID-19 vaccine is available to the public.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the government is planning to allow the schools to reopen in a post-COVID era. The schools in Delhi have been closed since March 2019 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rajasthan government has announced that schools, colleges and other educational institutions will reopen in the state from January 18. Apart from this, the Medical College, Dental College, Nursing College and Paramedical College will reopen from January 11.