Imphal: After a gap of almost a year with no school activities due to COVID-19 outbreak, Manipur on Wednesday reopened classes for students studying in Class IX and above while imposing strict norms.
However, educational institutions witnessed a few students returning to classrooms since many parents are still reluctant to send their children back to school.
Speaking to EastMojo, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Chingmeirong, Imphal Principal Father Igness Hans informed that the school conducted its first official staff meeting and discussed the year’s activities.
“I am happy to inform all the parents and guardians associated with Don Bosco Higher Secondary School that after almost a gap of a year with no activity, today we are opening the school with all the staff present. The classrooms are already with all the arrangement and measures given by the government,” said Father Hans.
Classes for students studying in Class X and XII will start from Thursday with three groups each, instead of sections. For Class IX and XI, classes will officially begin from February 1.
Each group will have a maximum of 30 students so that social distancing is maintained in the classrooms. Before students enter the class, official documents would be checked, including parents consent for sending them to schools. Other formalities, including sanitising and other COVID-19 guidelines laid down by the government, will also be followed, the principal added.
Initially, as informed by Father Hans, students will have a tentatively three periods in a day with 50 minutes for each period till February 12. “In between classes, there would no official break. However, if students need for a washroom break, teachers can send them one by one,” he added.
“We have given the freedom to parents to send their children to the school, and it is not compulsory. However, we have recommended them since there will be intensely preparing for the upcoming board and council exams,” said Father Hans.
Similarly, Jamang Justin, principal of Kids’ High School, Dewlahland, Imphal, said that only students appearing for Class X board exam are attending the class. However, students studying in Class IX and X will officially begin their classes from February 1 since the admission process is still going on.
“We are trying our best to maintain all the standard operative procedure, so we are keeping them two per bench and in between each bench; we are keeping a desk to keep them apart,” said Principal Justin.
Each classroom will have a maximum of 30 students to maintain social distancing. “We are providing teachers with a face shield, and they wouldn’t be allowed to move around in the classroom. Instead, they will remain in one place and teach the students,” he added.
In terms of communicating with the parents before reopening schools, Justin informed that the school authority is constantly informing the parents, including all the SoPs given out by the government through the WhatsApp group created for communication purpose.
“When the time permits, we will call for a parent-teacher meeting,” he added.
The state cabinet meeting held at Kamjong district on January 15 chaired by chief minister N Biren Singh announced that schools and colleges in the state be reopening for students of Class IX to XII from January 27 after Manipur witnessed a dip in COVID-19 cases.
Since March 2020, schools and other educational institutions across the state had been shut after the Center imposed nationwide lockdown during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.