More than 300 schools in Covid19-free areas outside the jurisdiction of Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) have been allowed to re-open for the new academic session 2021-2022, an official said.

The new Covid19 guidelines issued by the state government on August 8 allowed the re-opening of schools in areas outside the AMC’s jurisdiction where there is no Covid19 case.

Following the new Covid19 guidelines, the state school education department had on August 9 issued an order allowing re-opening of schools for primary to higher secondary level in Covid19-free towns and villages subject to prior consultation with deputy commissioners.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the department shall be strictly followed, the order had said.

School education department director James Lalrinchhana said that at least 376 schools in seven districts, including the Aizawl district, have been allowed to re-open for the new academic session 2021-2022.

The majority of the permitted schools have already started regular classes, while 27 more schools in Khawzawl district will be re-opened from Monday, he said.

He said the school education department is currently undertaking identification of schools in Covid19-free areas and more schools will be re-opened in the next few days.

At least 49 schools have so far been allowed to re-open in Aizawl district, 151 in Champhai district, 74 in Serchhip district, 47 in Lawngltai district, 11 in Siaha district, 20 in Saitual district and 27 in Khawzawl district, he said.

Of the 11 districts, four districts – Lunglei, Kolasib, Mamit and Hnahthial – are yet to submit lists of Covid19-free villages where re-opening of school can be allowed, according to Lalrinchhana.

He said the schools, which have been permitted to re-open, are mostly located in remote rural villages where internet connectivity is very poor.

The re-opening of school in such villages has immensely helped students, who could not get good internet access, he said.

Online classes are still going on for schools in Covid19 areas, he said.

So far, no student has been infected with Covid19 in such villages where schools were re-opened, he said.

Unlike previous years, the new academic session (for 2021-2022) was delayed by a month due to Covid19 and the academic calendar commenced from May.

Schools and other educational institutions have been closed for about 15 months starting from March last year due to the spread of Covid19.

Following the dip in Covid19 cases from around November last year, schools were reopened for certain classes on January 22 this year but have been shut again since April with the onset of the second wave of Covid19.

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