Educational institutions in four — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland — of the eight northeastern states partially re-opened on Monday after a gap of six months with strict Covid-19 guidelines, officials said.
Many schools in the four states witnessed low attendance on the first day of reopening while some students were sent back for coming without consent letters of the parents or face masks.
Officials in Guwahati said that thousands of schools re-opened across Assam for students of classes 9 to 12 with a maximum attendance of 20 students per class.
“The students carried no objection certificates from their guardians for attending classes. Only 50 per cent of teachers and non-teaching staff are allowed to attend schools,” the officials said.
According to the officials, students of classes 9 and 12 would attend classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while the rest 3 days are reserved for class 10 and 11 students.
Thermal screening of students and staff was being done while social distancing norms are being maintained.
In Meghalaya, after months of closure due to the pandemic, educational institutions partially reopened too with voices of students again echoing in a number of schools and the teachers clearing their doubts on Covid-19 related issues.
“Schools in Meghalaya partially opened for students of class 9 to 12 to interact with the teachers to clear their doubts and queries but there would be no regular classes and no classroom sessions,” an Education Department official told the media in Shillong.
The Nagaland government also partially allowed reopening schools from Monday for students of Class 9 to 12, on a “voluntary basis”, to seek academic guidance from the teachers.
In an order, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said that up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff, residing outside containment zones, were allowed to attend the schools at a time.
“Students of classes 9 to 12 allowed to attend their schools, in areas outside the containment zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers subject to written consent of their parents or guardians and strict adherence to all the provisions in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP),” an Education Department official said.
Reopening of schools, Industrial Training Institutes and skill development centres was allowed by the Mizoram government from Monday for students of Class 9 to 12 outside the containment zones.
The Union Home Ministry’s Unlock-4 guidelines allowed students of classes 9 to 12 to visit schools on a “voluntary basis” from September 21 for academic help.
With schools across the country closed since March. classes are conducted online, and links to online study material are sent via WhatsApp, emails and SMS.
The partial reopening will also be allowed for skill or entrepreneurship training institutions.