Offline teaching will resume from standards 1-5 in Gujarat from Monday, education minister Jitu Vaghani announced. The sudden announcement to resume the teaching comes amid a spurt in Covid-19 cases in the state since the Diwali festivities.
“Physical classes will resume in the state from Monday, November 22, for standards 1-5. The classes will begin with 50% capacity, and attendance will be optional. Online classes will also continue. The decision to resume the classes has been taken after a thorough evaluation of the current pandemic situation,” Vaghani said.
The minister clarified that schools will require parents’ consent for sending their children for offline classes, and schools will have to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour and compliance with the pandemic related guidelines.
Offline classes were shut in the state since March 2020 when the first nationwide lockdown was announced in the early days of the pandemic. Schools had resumed physical classes for students of standards 9-12 from July 26, and for Classe 6-8 from August 27. Physical teaching will resume for classes 1-5 after a gap of 21 months.
The government was expected to allow resumption of physical classes for standards 1-5 in late November or early December, but the announcement to resume classes at just a day’s notice has taken many parents by surprise.
“The government should have given at least three days’ notice to resume classes to children as well as schools. The sudden announcement means parents will have to run for uniforms and other stuff needed in schools,” said Sanjukta, a parent.
The decision comes in the backdrop of Covid-19 cases in the state doubling after the Diwali break. From around 15-17 cases a day earlier, the new cases have jumped to around 40 in the last ten days.