Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday held a meeting with the officials of education, health etc. departments on reopening of schools, which have been closed for more than seven months due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meeting, the chief minister was apprised about the SOP prepared by the higher education department through a presentation given by the principal secretary of the department B Kalyan Chakravarti.
The Chief Minister directed the education department to take utmost care to strictly observe the COVID-19 protocols while reopening the schools and stressed on the need to start the classes early in the morning, maintain a proper gap between the classroom timings of two groups of students, keep the toilets clean and sanitised among others.
He also issued an instruction to the department to extensively use audio-visual tools, storytelling and such attractive methods in the first month to get the students back to the mould of formal education.
He also suggested inviting COVID warriors, plasma donors etc to felicitate in school premises so that the student could be inspired to work for the society.
Among many negatives, the pandemic has brought some positives as well and making the people aware about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene was one of them and education department must take this opportunity to spread the message of cleanliness in the society through the students, Sonowal said.
He also instructed the department to provide iron and folic acid tablets to students for boosting their immunity along with giving yoga classes and holding regular health screenings for the students.
Sonowal also asked the health department officials to take steps for tying-up of one health centre with one school while also shifting COVID care centres from the schools at the earliest.
He also directed the department to provide smartphones to students of economically disadvantaged sections for attending online classes.
According to the SOP prepared by the education department, formal classes will start from November 2 for the students of class 6 and above.
Classes 6,7,9 and 12 will have classroom teachings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of every week while classes 8, 10 and 11 will have classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Likewise, the students of first, third and fifth-semester degree will have classes for two, three and four days respectively every week.
Classes will start in two phases and each phase can have a maximum of 25 students.
All DCs have been asked to stay prepared for any emergency COVID-19 related situation and Chief Minister directed the education department to keep task forces, emergency service teams, toll-free number etc. ready for facing all eventualities.
Sonowal also directed for holding a meeting of VCs to prepare guidelines for starting the classes in all universities soon.