Classes 9-12 to fully re-open from November 30 in Meghalaya

Shillong, Nov 26 (UNI) Classes 9-12 will fully re-open in schools outside containment zones in both urban and rural areas across the State from November 30 as per guidelines and direction issued by the Union ministry of home affairs, a notification issued by the Meghalaya Education Department said on Thursday.
“The reopening of this category is aimed at the completion of courses and preparation for the Board Examinations,” the notification, signed by principal secretary (Education), Donald Philips Wahlang read.
The education department also permitted full re-opening of Classes 6-8 in rural areas and partial re-opening in urban and semi-urban areas that include towns of Shillong, Jowai, Nongpoh, Tura, Byrnihat, Jorabad and Khanapara area.
“Partial opening entails only consultations, assignments submission, and discussion with teachers/counsellors in the school premises,” the notification said.
While the education department has also recommended partial reopening of Classes 1-5 in the rural areas, the same would continue to remain closed in the urban and semi-urban areas.
Full re-opening of Classes 9-12 was also recommended in the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya.
As per the generic preventive measures that are to be followed, parental consent for attendance is mandatory and the School Managing Committees (SMCs) are to consult with the stakeholders prior to reopening of any category, i.e. parents, District Health Officials and the local community.
“Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent,” the notification underscored.
“Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged. Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so,” the notification said.
“Schools are also at liberty either to reopen for normal classes or continue with the existing arrangements or arrange students in groups (odd/even roll nos. etc) if enrolment is large,” it recommended.
“In receiving views and suggestions from the stakeholders, the SMC shall prepare a Plan of Action for schools including which will includes, awareness programme on COVID-19 to all teaching and non-teaching staff, sanitization of the school premises, classrooms, toilets, etc. The School authorities are empowered to take any decision pertaining to closure of schools in an event of any suspected COVID-19 case in consultation with health officials,” the guidelines laid down.
“School authorities are also empowered to design a daily plan and restriction on the duration of classes to 30 minutes and a break of 5 minutes after each period. A blended approach of 3 days classes and 2 days for home assignment may also be considered to reduce the exposure,” the notification said, adding that awareness programme for students on COVID-19 and immunity building should be encouraged regularly with the support of Health Department.


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