GUWAHATI: Elementary schools in Assam are set to resume classes from January 1, 2021, almost 10 months after they had to be closed as a precautionary measure in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing media persons here on Monday, state education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the decision to reopen classes for elementary schools (Classes Nursery to 5) was taken after discussions with the primary teachers association.
“Elementary schools would resume classes from January 1, 2020 in a staggered manner. However, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines regarding the schedules would be issued by the department in the coming days,” Sarma said.
The Union home ministry had earlier allowed states to start classes after October 15 depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective states. Both government and private schools have been allowed to resume classes.
As a part of the school reopening process, schools and colleges for Classes 6 to 12 had resumed classes in the state from November 2.
Adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, schools are following an odd-even system to contain the spread of the virus and prevent infection among students.
“However, the parents would take the decision whether to send their wards to attend classes in schools or not,” the minister said.
Sarma further informed that the COVID-19 situation in the state has improved substantially with cases reducing to just 158 in the last week of November from 325 in the first week of November.
Currently, Assam has 3350 active COVID cases.
College hostels will reopen from December 15 albeit in a restricted manner, the education minister further announced.
“We have decided to allow opening of hostels only for final year students of colleges/polytechnic and engineering institutions, etc from December 15, 2020. College principals have been directed to take measures to clean the hostels,” he said.
The minister however pointed out that the easing of restrictions were subject to the prevailing situation and that the state government has kept contingency plans ready to meet any eventuality.