COVID-19 in Gujarat: State govt to reopen schools for classes 10 and 12 from Jan 11

The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced that it has decided to reopen schools for classes 10th and 12th and colleges in the state from January 11, provided Covid-19 guidelines are followed. The education minister also announced that decisions regarding other classes and primary schools will be taken later.

Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, the education minister of Gujarat said, "In a meeting held today, headed by the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, it has been decided to reopen the schools for classes 10th and 12th and colleges in the state. Before that, I had lots of discussions with my department officials, educational experts, academicians and other stakeholders about going for the continuation of education. Today, the cabinet has decided that for these classes and colleges, education will be allowed to continue from the January 11th. For this, they shall strictly have to follow the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP prepared by the central government."

"The colleges and universities, the classes for postgraduate, medical and paramedical will also be reopened. The present system of providing online education will also have to be continued by the educational institutes in the state," added Chudasama.

The minister added that the decision taken on Wednesday applied to all the schools colleges in the state including the government, grant in aid, self financed, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalay and all the schools under Social justice and empowerment. For the rest of the schools the government will be deciding on it later.

He further said the attendance of the students will not be made mandatory, but the schools and colleges will have to have a written consent from the parents of the students. For that, a form will be provided by the government to the parents. The principals of all the educational institutes will have to ensure that all the facilities to follow the SOP are adequate. The entire teaching staff and all students will have to be checked for their temperature through Thermal Guns.

Still many academicians and a large section of the parents are still not convinced about Covid guidelines being followed in schools.

Eleven people working in a complex of the state secretariat premises in Gandhinagar have tested positive for coronavirus in the last four days, officials said on Wednesday.

Gujarat Chief Minister's Office is located on the fourth floor of the complex, known as 'Swarnim Sankul-1', while offices of the deputy chief minister and other cabinet- rank ministers are on the lower floors.

Out of nearly 70 employees of the four-storey complex, who were tested as part of a drive recently conducted by the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation, 11 were found infected with the coronavirus, the civic body's health officer, Dr Kalpesh Goswami, said.

On Tuesday, 655 new cases were reported in the state, including 14 from Gandhinagar city, as per official figures.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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