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Nagaland government, as indicated in the Centre’s unlock 4.0 guidelines, has announced the partial reopening of all the schools in the state from September 21, on a ‘voluntary basis’, to seek academic guidance.

According to official sources on September 19 an order issued by the chief secretary Temjen Toy listed the activities that would be permitted in schools, colleges, educational, coaching and training institutions or centres with effect from September 21, subject to strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

The partial reopening is on a voluntary basis for students of classes IX to XII for taking guidance from their teachers, and for the skill or entrepreneurship training institutions or centres. Up to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff may be permitted to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work, in areas outside the containment zones only, subject to strict adherence to the SOPs issued.

The schools across the country have been closed since March due to COVID-19 pandemic. According to the order now the students of classes IX to XII may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the containment zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers subject to written consent of their parents or guardians, and strict adherence to all the provisions in the SOPs.

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Skill or entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other ministries of union government subject to strict adherence to the SOP.

National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted as per the aforesaid SOP.

Sources said that the SOPs include guidelines for schools for generic preventive measures, specific arrangements to be ensured by the schools and guidelines to be followed before and after opening up of schools.

Besides these, the hygiene and sanitation, risk communication, psychosocial wellbeing and SOP to be followed in case a student, teacher or employee develops symptoms has also been provided. There is also a separate set of SOPs for resumption of teaching or training activities in skill or entrepreneurship training institutions or centres, the order said.

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