Elementary level school students attending neighbourhood classes on Wednesday Credit: EastMojo Image

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Agartala: Over 1 lakh students attended neighbourhood classes in open places maintaining social distancing and other Covid-19 precautions on Thursday, said education minister Ratan Lal Nath.

Speaking with EastMojo, Nath said that Tripura has become the first state to start neighbourhood classes in an open environment.

Other states including Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Chattisgarh have also started similar classes outside the school premises.

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“The teachers in the class for the first 10 minutes will give general awareness on COVID-19 and give suggestions on mandatory precautionary measures that need to be taken by the students. Every student attending class must carry a mask and sanitize their hand before and after classes. Each class will have a ratio of five students to one teacher,“ Nath said.

Students attending neighbourhood classes on first day

He also said that the students joined the classes with approval from their parents and the teachers have been directed to not pressure any student to attend the neighbourhood classes if their parents are not ready for the same.

“The education department has reduced the syllabus of Class III to Class VIII students by 50 percent for Social Studies, Bengali and English subjects, while syllabus for environment science, Mathematics and Science have been reduced by 40 percent from the syllabus,” Nath added.

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Earlier on August 9, the education minister said even though the department had started online classes through pre-recorded videos, telecast in cable television, ‘ektu khelo ektu poro’ programmes which did not require smartphones to reach as many students as possible.

A survey conducted by the Tripura New Disha (new direction) cell under ‘Ektu Khelo Ektu Poro’ in 3,974 schools, 94,013 students (29%) did not have access to online classes amid the lockdown.

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Tripura has around 27,000 teachers imparting education in 4,400 government and government aided schools across the state.

The state government is also taking the opinion of the guardians over the decision of starting neighbourhood classes.

“The guardian’s opinion will be taken through an interactive voice response system (IVRS) and teachers through the Sikha Darpaan application of the education department”, Nath added.

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