Neighbourhood Class for students of Ratan Roaja Para High School, Longtharai Valley in Dhalai district of Tripura | Photo courtesy: Twitter/Biralal Tripura

The Tripura government has started ‘neighbourhood classes’ in open spaces with five students in each group, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the school students.

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Education and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that in accordance with the Supreme Court order and considering the future academic effect of the students, the “neighbourhood classes” started and it would continue until the regular and normal classes in the educational institutions start.

“Students from Class III standard to Class XII attended in the ‘neighbourhood classes’ in the school ground or in a nearby open space. Over 27,500 teachers would go to the students’ locality and teach them in small groups in open space, consisting of maximum five students by maintaining social distancing, proper face covers and following safety measures,” Nath told the media on August 20.

He said that the study in open space, outside the school rooms, has already started in Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

“On the first day 1,00,258 students attended the ‘neighbourhood classes’ and it is expected that the number would gradually increase every day. However, the teachers or the education departments would not force the students or guardians to attend these classes,” Nath said.

“Schools and various other educational institutions remained closed for the past five months hampering the education of the students. We have formed committees with representatives from all political parties and organisations and on the recommendations of these committees, steps are being taken to provide teaching to the students,” he added.

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The minister said that the education department had started virtual classed through cable television networks two months back, but around 94,000 students missed these online and virtual classes due to numerous reasons including mobile network and device related problems. The syllabus of various subjects was reduced by 30 to 50 per cent for the time being.

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