New Delhi: The Gujarat government has permitted schools and colleges to reopen in the state from November 23 subject to adherence of Covid-19 guidelines. In a partial reopening, schools for classes 9 to 12, and colleges for final-year students have been allowed to resume from the aforementioned date. The government has not yet decided on reopening of primary schools. Also Read - Ladakh: Civil Society Calls For Week-long Lockdown, Essential Services Allowed | Details Here

Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said: “A Cabinet meeting chaired by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday decided to reopen schools and colleges in the state. Before that, I held discussions with my department officials, education experts, academics and other stakeholders on continuation of studies. Also Read - Maharashtra Makes Covid-19 Negative Report Mandatory For Travellers From Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, Guajrat

“The Cabinet decided that after Diwali, from November 23, all high and higher secondary schools, colleges and universities will hold teaching in their respective premises. For this, they shall strictly follow the Standard Operating Protocol of the central government.” Also Read - Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi Passes Away at 84 After Long Battle With Illness

“In the first stage, in colleges and universities, classes for postgraduate, medical and paramedical students will be resumed. Moreover, classes of only final-year students of undergraduate courses will be resumed. In engineering streams also, classes of final-year students will resume. Similarly, ITIs and polytechnics will be reopened. The present system of providing online education will also have to be continued by various institutes in the state,” added Chudasama.

Guidelines for school, college reopening in Gujarat:

1) Chudasama said that the decision was applicable to all schools and colleges in the state — government, grant in aid, self-financed, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya and all schools under Social Justice and Empowerment Department. For the remaining schools, the government will decide later.

2) The Minister said that though attendance by students will not be mandatory, schools and colleges will have to obtain written consents from parents on a form provided by the government.

3) Principals of all educational institutions will ensure that all SOP are in place and followed in letter and spirit. The teaching staff and all students coming to the institutions will be checked for body temperatures through thermal guns.

4) “For physical distancing, we are giving the educational institutions the option of odd-even formula and alternate-day teaching so that students keep safe distance. It will also be ensured that students, even during recess or other times, don’t crowd and maintain physical distance,” added Chudasama.

5) The Education Department officials and District Education Officers will monitor schools and colleges in their respective areas and submit daily reports to us,” the Education Minister added.

(With agency inputs)