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Gujarat State Cabinet with Chief Minister in chair decides to restart teaching in Schools Std IX to XII and in Colleges from Nov 23, 2020

    The Gujarat State Cabinet with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in chair here today took an important decision to restart teaching in phases in schools and colleges after the Diwali from November 23, 2020.

    Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma and Minister of State for Education Vibhavariben Dave announced the details.

    The schools, colleges in the country, including Gujarat, were closed down since March last to ensure the novelcorona virus COVID-19 does not spread through contacts.

    However, the Education Department under the guidance of the Chief Minister had successfully arranged for online teaching to ensure the students do not loose their academic year.

    First lockdown and then the economic, industrial and other activity were gradually allowed to continue in phases during Unlock 1.0 to Unlock 5.0, under the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister.

    The government also saw to it that school and college students could continue learning through online teaching.

    Now the Vijay Rupani Government decided to restart physically teaching in schools and colleges in the state in phases under Unlock 5.0 after Diwali from November 23, 2020, in co-operation with school managements, teachers, students, parents and District Education Officer.

    All have to completely observe the Centre’s guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), at the same time keeping all possible preventive methods for the health of the children.

    Mr. Chudasma said the State Education Department arrived at this decision after holding series of meetings with the stakeholders, including managements and teachers of schools and colleges – as unanimously approved by the State Cabinet.

    In phase-1, he said, the colleges and universities will restart from November 23 postgraduate, medical and paramedical classes, only final year undergraduate classes, and only final year classes of engineering, polytechnics and ITIs. The Central Government’s SOP for online teaching will continue at the same time.

    To avoid crowding of students in educational campuses, it has been decided to restart teaching on odd-even days, to be notified by principals and be followed accordingly. For instance, teaching in Standard IX and XI could be held on three days in a week, and Standard X and XII on the other three days, or as convenient. Students can come to schools on assigned days and do assignments at home on other days.

    The State Government will take appropriate decision at appropriate time to restart teaching in other faculties/classes and will be announced as and when decided. The SOP is applicable to all government, grant-in-aid and self-financed schools, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, and schools run by Social Justice & Empowerment Department and Tribal Welfare Department.

    Mr. Chudasma made it clear that restarting this physical teaching is not compulsory. The students will have to get written consent of parents/guardians to attend schools and submit the same to the school managements. Students will have to bring their own masks, drinking water bottle, books/notebooks, snacks, etc and will not exchange. Students will sit as per revised seating arrangements in classrooms or in halls, computer rooms, laboratories, library, etc. – as per SOP – keeping a distance of minimum six feet between two. Students will have to keep masks on.

    School and college managements have to arrange beforehand cleanliness in classrooms, thermal guns, soaps for washing hands before students enter classrooms, and ensure  medical facilities near schools and colleges. Instructions have been issued not to hold prayer, games or any group activity in the compound.

    Parents/guardians have to arrange for own transportation of their children/wards to-and-fro to schools. In case, students use public transport, they would have to observe preventive measures as advised by schools. In case of school buses, they must keep curtains/window panes open and sanitise the bus at least twice daily.

    Source: Information Department, Gujarat