Odisha to reopen schools and colleges from Feb 7 as Covid cases plummet – The New Indian Express

Through Express press service

BHUBANESWAR: As new Covid cases continue to drop dramatically, the Odisha government announced on Thursday that it would reopen schools and colleges that had been closed after the outbreak of the pandemic. Classes from Standard I to Standard VII will resume after almost two years.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra has said that all educational institutions providing any type of education at the level of Class VIII and above will start physical education in the classroom from February 7.

All schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, vocational colleges and universities will reopen in the state. Classes from Standard I to Standard VII will, however, reopen from February 14.

“The number of Covid-19 cases and Omicron cases are trending downward in the state. In view of this and to mitigate as much as possible the impact of student learning loss, the decision has been taken to reopen the educational institutions,” Mahapatra said.

As decided, school students can avail the option of online/offline/hybrid teaching methods for the current school year. The directives that prevailed just before the closure of establishments on January 10 will apply to higher education establishments.

Hostels and other residential establishments will also be open from the start of offline classes. That aside, short courses, trainings, workshops, and skill development training programs will also be allowed in physical mode.

The government has instructed relevant departments to notify the revised academic year and introduce bridging courses wherever necessary in consultation with respective authorities and regulatory bodies to help students overcome learning gaps.

Examinations for classes up to Standard IX and for promotion of students from Standard XI to Standard XII will be through class assessment. Students will have the option of taking the exam in offline, online, or hybrid mode, depending on the feasibility of the schools.

Examinations for Standard X and Standard XII students will be conducted in accordance with the orders and directions of the respective commissions/boards or regulatory authorities.

Likewise, examinations at higher education institutions, including technical and vocational institutions, will be conducted in accordance with approved guidelines issued on January 10.

While departments managing educational institutions have been asked to issue detailed SOPs, authorities have been asked to follow all appropriate Covid protocols and assist/advise children and their parents to deal with the situation.

Although the majority of active cases recover quickly, the Chief Secretary maintained that proper Covid behavior and protocols must be scrupulously observed in order to prevent the transmission of infection.

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