Guwahati, Sunday, October 18, 2020
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Regular classes in schools, colleges from Nov 2
Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, Oct 17 - State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday informed that educational institutes, including schools and colleges, will reopen and regular classes will be held from November 2 onwards. The announcement came in the line of the government’s ‘Unlock 5’ guidelines. However, classes up to fifth standard will remain suspended although students can go to school and avail mid-day meal facility and while doing so can take part in informal classes. The decision on resumption of classes up to Class 5 and reopening of residential schools will be taken in December.

 Addressing media persons on Saturday, Sarma informed that as per the standard operating procedure, classes from Class 6 onwards will be held in two sessions – 8.30 am to 12.30 pm, and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm – to maintain a staggered time-table aimed at achieving minimum possible congestion in schools at any given time slot. Informing that it would be completely up to the parents to send their wards to schools or not, Sarma said the percentage of class attendance will not be a factor in any way.

He further said that the annual examinations this year will only be conducted for students of classes 8, 10 and 12 and all other classes will be promoted by default.

“Even the school syllabus will be reduced and notified accordingly,” the Minister said, adding that the school management may continue to conduct online cases instead of regular classes.

Sarma also said that both the government as well as the private schools will have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines. Even in case of undergraduate classes, not more than 25 students can be accommodated in one room at a time.

The Minister said that polytechnic and engineering colleges too will reopen on November 2.

However, the hostels shall remain closed until November 30 when a decision on this is likely to be taken.

He said that the University Executive Council will take a decision regarding the reopening of universities and the government will not interfere on resumption of regular postgraduate classes.

Replying to a query, the Minister reiterated that all government-run madrassas will be closed in the State and a detailed SOP to this effect will be issued in November.

“The Madrassa Education Board will be dissolved and all government-run madrassas will be converted into regular schools,” he said, adding that while those studying in Class 9 and 10 would be allowed to pass out, fresh admission would take place in January with its new identity as high schools.

Moreover, the Sanskrit tols (institutes) will come under the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit University and developed into centres of learning and research for Indian culture, nationalism and civilisation.

There are 610 government-run madrassas in Assam with the State spending Rs 260 crore annually.

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