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The Mizoram government has decided to regularly reopen schools for students of classes 10 and 12 from October 16, an education department official said.

The decision was taken in accordance with the Union home ministry’s order, which allowed states to reopen schools after October 15, depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective states.

School education department director James Lalrinchhana on Monday said the decision was taken during a meeting chaired by education minister Lalchhandama Ralte during the day.

Officials of the department and representatives of a church body, the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), student bodies and other stakeholders took part in the meeting.

The education department has issued a separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which should be followed by all the authorities of schools and hostels besides students, he said.

Only those students who test negative for COVID-19 in rapid antigen tests will be allowed in hostels.

The state government has partially reopened schools from September 21 for students of classes 10 to 12, allowing them to consult their teachers on subject matters.

It set the limit of students who could go to the educational institutions in a day.

The attendees of the meeting agreed to continue with the existing system for students of classes 9 and11 and decided to hold the next deliberation before mid-November to decide on reopening primary to high schools depending on the COVID-19 situation in the state, Mr Lalrinchhana said.

He said the school education department has conducted activities like online competition, weekly worksheet and televised classes during the lockdown to bridge the education gap.

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