Physical classes resumed for an estimated 1 crore students of standards 6-8 in Gujarat from Thursday, after a gap of nearly 18 months.
The resumption comes a week after the state government on August 25 allowed more than 36,000 schools to begin offline teaching for these standards. The offline classes have been allowed to resume with 50% capacity.
However, attendance in offline classes is not mandatory, as schools have also been asked to continue online teaching. Schools have also been directed to ensure all Covid-appropriate behaviour such as use of face masks, social distancing, etc., are strictly complied with.
The resumption of physical classes has come as good news for many students.
“I am happy to be going back to school. Not going to school was fun initially, but online teaching is not the same,” said Shruti, a class 7 student in Ahmedabad.
Kartik Dev, a class 8 student, said, “My elder sister’s classes started a few weeks back, and I was looking forward to my classes to resume. I am looking forward to meeting my friends and teachers in person.”
Physical teaching in schools in Gujarat was suspended in March last year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the Coronavirus. With hardy any let-up in the pandemic situation for many months, schools shifted to online teaching, and classes for the whole academic session 2020-21 were held online.
In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in April and May, the new academic session also began with online teaching. However, with cases falling in June and July, authorities allowed offline classes for standards 9-12 to resume on July 26. A further decline in cases has paved the way for offline teaching for standards 6-8.