Physical classes for final year students of higher secondary, undergraduate, and post-graduate courses in general and technical institutes resumed in Assam from Monday, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said. However, only vaccinated students are allowed to attend offline classes. Government and private educational institutions were closed since mid-April when the second wave of Covid-19 had hit the state.
“The classes have to be conducted in strict adherence to the SOP (standard operating procedure) issued by our department, which was framed on the basis of the guidelines of the health department for reopening of classes,” Pegu told reporters.
He said it is the health department’s prerogative to allow opening of physical classes, depending on the Covid-19 situation. On reopening of lower classes, Pegu said nothing has been decided yet and a close watch is being kept on the situation.
As per the SOP issued by the education department earlier, only students above 18 years of age who have taken at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be eligible to attend physical classes. Teaching as well as non-teaching staff will have to be fully vaccinated to attend duties.
Hostel facilities will open for only those students whose physical classes have resumed but all boarders will have to be vaccinated, as per the SOP. Online mode of teaching will continue for students who prefer not to attend physical classes as attendance in physical classes is not mandatory.
Other guidelines like Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and regular sanitsation of premises have also been included in the SOP. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state is 4,999, as per a bulletin of the National Health Mission, Assam, issued on Sunday evening. Altogether 5,91,980 coronavirus cases have been detected in the state so far. The recovery rate is 97.97 per cent and the death rate is 0.96 per cent.