After a gap of 11 months, schools in Sikkim will reopen from Monday for the pre-primary and primary students with strict adherence to the COVID19 protocol, the state government said.

The elementary education and Samagra Shiksha director Bhim Thatal has issued a circular in this regard.

In the circular Thatal has directed all the state-run, government-aided and private schools to reopen the educational institutions for LKG to class 5 students with effect from Monday.

In Sikkim, classroom teaching for senior students started in a phased manner since October.

After the outbreak of COVID19, the schools in the Himalayan state were closed since March last year.

The educational institutions will have to abide by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Union health ministry and the guidelines set by the Union education ministry as well as the SOP and instructions of the state education department.

As per the SOP and instructions of the authorities, the attendance of students will be strictly on voluntary basis and consent of parents/guardians will be mandatory.

The schools at the primary level will operate with 50% capacity or alternatively on odd-even roll number basis wherever there are more students and less space.

The classrooms with a lesser number of students, however, may operate fully by ensuring sufficient distance between the students as per the COVID19 safety protocol.

The schools will operate till 2 pm on every working day.

The hostel facilities may also be available with COVID19 guidelines in place.

Holidays on the second and fourth Saturdays will be restored for all levels of schools, students, teaching and non-teaching employees.

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