Regular classes from Class VI to undergraduate level in Assam will resume from November 2 with attendance being on voluntary basis, state health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on October 17.
The classes will have staggered timings and all COVID-19 health and safety protocols will have to be followed, he added.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, Sarma said: “Detailed SOP for re-opening of schools and colleges has been issued and all educational institutions must follow these.”
For universities, the decision to resume classes will be taken by the executive councils of the varsities, he said.
For colleges and technical education institutions, classes will resume from November 2 with the respective institutions to ensure that there is no over-crowding in classrooms and students are divided into sections.
Hostels will open after December 1, and hence, students can opt for temporary enrolment for one month in colleges near their homes if they cannot arrange for accommodation near their own college, the minister said.
In case of schools, students from Class VI onwards will have classes in two shifts – 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
He said: “The first 15 days will be for orientation and then regular classes will resume. Revised syllabus will be notified and promotion examination will be held only for Class VIII, X and XII this session.”
He also stressed that attendance would be on voluntary basis and if any guardian is unwilling to send their wards, the schools or colleges cannot force them, adding that provision for online classes can be continued for students who cannot attend classes in person.
Private schools can take their own decision on whether to resume classes, but no classes up to Class V will be allowed in any government or private school, Sarma said.
“Periodic COVID-19 testing will be conducted in the schools and colleges from time to time,” he added.
Schools and colleges in the state have been closed since mid-March due to outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.