Guwahati: Health minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced the state government’s the decision to reopen educational institutions of the state from November 2.
Educational institutions across the state were shut since March after the nationwide lockdown was announced owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our educational institutions are divided into four categories namely, universities, technical educations, higher education and elementary schools. So we have taken the decision keeping in mind the concerns of the students and their guardians to reopen schools and colleges in the state from November 2,” said Sarma at a press conference on Saturday.
However the state minister said the decision to reopen universities rests on the the management of respective universities owing to the autonomy of the varsities.
“The state government will not give any order to the universities in the state respecting their autonomy. We have left the responsibility on the executive councils of respective universities to take their individual decisions as to when they want to reopen their universities. So on universities and on post-graduate courses there is no goverenment directive” Sarma added.
From November 2 onwards, all government engineering colleges and polytechnic institutions will resume physical classes but hostels will remain shut, informed Sarma while talking to the media.
He further added that if some of the students are unable to attend classes physically, online classes will continue for the students who can’t come to educational institutions.
“It will be a blend of both, online and offline classes,” Sarma stated.
In colleges, every class would not hold more than 20 to 25 students. Separate days for students of different semesters would come to attend classes, Sarma informed. For student of 1st semester of undergraduate courses, colleges will host classes on Monday and Thursday; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 3rd semester students will come for their classes and for students of 5th semester classes will commence on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, said the Himanta Biswa Sarma laying out the plan for conducting classes in colleges across the state.
Speaking about the procedure of reopening schools, Sarma stated that classes for students of 6 standard onwards would resume from November 2.
“We have also advised private schools to also not to conduct classes for students up to class 5” Sarma mentioned
All schools shall open at 8 in the morning till 4:30 in the evening. “Two sessions, one from 8:30 am till 11:30 and the next session from 12:30 to 4:30 post lunchtime” Sarma said at the presser.
The state health minister also stated that under mid-day meal scheme, students are being provided with dry ration and schools will now begin providing cooked meals as students start coming to schools.
Assam government had earlier resumed classes for 9 to 12 standards of government run schools registered just around 11 per cent attendance in the first ten days of resumption of classes for standard IX to XII from September 21.
The education ministry had also released new guidelines under Unlock 5.0 to reopen schools and colleges in the country from October 15. Under their notification, central government allowed the opening of schools and colleges in restricted manner. However states would have the final say on whether they would allow students attend classes from the upcoming week.