“The high-power committee of the education department in a meeting on Monday evening decided to reopen schools from Class V-VIII up to the college-level. It further decided to reopen hostels. The government wants full attendance of teachers and other staff. However, attendance of students will be allowed only after guardians’ consent,” state education minister Ratan Lal Nath on Tuesday said.
He said all government, government-aided and private schools can resume classes V to VIII from January 4, along with hostels attached to schools, colleges, professional institutions. Classes IX-XII had begun earlier this month with provisions of regular sanitization and cleaning of campus, including frequent washing of toilets.
The state government had spent a few lakh rupees for provisioning water, shops, sanitizers, and cleaning materials in schools, Nath said, adding that additional funds have been given to each school headmaster for regular cleaning of classrooms, toilets, and sanitization of campus to ensure a disease-free environment.
The department has directed school authorities to clean and sanitize rooms and buildings properly within January 2 and submit a report on the sanitization to the department by the closing hours.
However, in the case of private schools affiliated with CBSE and ICSE, the authorities may open classes or may continue their online classes. In the meeting, it was decided that the district magistrate and collectors of all districts will hold meetings with sub-divisional magistrates, district education officers, and respective school authorities to ensure the safety of students on campus.
The department would form separate committees to look after hostel-related issues such as procurement of rice, vegetables, and cooking materials. Also, to ensure that medical staff from local health centres need to visit hostels regularly, the minister added. The state registered 33,244 positive cases, while 382 people lost their lives due to the pandemic in the last six months.