New Delhi: Keeping in mind the ongoing coronavirus situation, a number of states reopened schools with strict COVID guidelines in place. After being closed for nearly 10 months, the school campuses in these states again started buzzing with students’ noise and academic activities amid COVID protocols. Many students and teachers were seen wearing face mask and some even were wearing face shield as part of the precaution while coming to school.Also Read - Kerala Opens Shutters of Idukki Dam After Tamil Nadu's Mullaperiyar Move; Alert Issued in 2 Districts
However, wearing masks, thermal screening, washing hands and social distancing were some of the measures which were made mandatory for those who wee coming to school today. Also Read - Rise in Covid-19 Cases: Will Karnataka Schools be Closed Again? Here's What State Minister Said
In Karnataka and in Kerala, classroom studies for classes 10 and 12 resumed on the first day of the new year, while in Assam children studying in classes one to five attended schools. Also Read - Assam Govt Issues Fresh Guidelines For Travellers As Threat of Omicron Variant Looms | Check SOPs Here
Staggered classroom schedules were followed by schools in these states, with the Centre recommending only 50 per cent of students be allowed at a time in educational institutes. Attendance of students is also not mandatory and they can choose to continue classes online, the central government had recommended.
The schools were opened on a day when India reported a single-day rise of 20,035 new COVID-19 cases taking the country’s virus caseload to 1,02,86,709. The death toll increased to 1,48,994 with 256 fresh fatalities.
While regular classes began in Karnataka for class 10 and second-year pre-university (PU) Class 12 students, who will be taking board exams, students from grades six to nine came to campuses for the Vidyagama programme, which enables continued schooling.
Wearing masks, students with consent letters from their parents were seen entering classrooms after thermal checks and sanitising their hands at schools and PU colleges.
Inside the classes too, students were seen seated maintaining social distancing. Schools and PU colleges have remained closed in the state since March just ahead of the national lockdown was first enforced to combat COVID-19. Classrooms and premises of schools and colleges were sanitised ahead classes resuming on Friday.
Schools in Assam reopened for primary students after 10 months in a staggered way following strict COVID-19 protocols. Classroom teaching resumed for pupils studying in classes one to five, though their attendance is not compulsory and will depend on parental consent.
Students who were full of enthusiasm attended schools wearing masks and they used sanitiser before entering classrooms. Notably, strict safety protocols have been put in place for reopening of schools, which includes regular sanitisation of classrooms.
Under a staggered class schedule, students of classes one, two and three will attend school on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays while those studying in classes four and five will go to their institutes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Teaching and non-teaching staff will have to undergo COVID-19 test every 30 days and there will be no cultural or other functions in schools until further government orders, according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Education Department.
Being remained closed for nearly 10 months, since March, schools in Kerala opened with covid guidelines. A recent high-level meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had decided to reopen educational institutions, including schools and colleges, in adherence with COVID guidelines.
In its guidelines, the General Education Department directed that only 50 per cent of students be allowed at a time in schools and that classes be arranged as one student per bench in the first week.
Meanwhile, an official statement said here that a total of 1.75 lakh new students have taken admission in classes 1 to 10 in state-run schools this academic year in Kerala.
(With inputs from PTI)