Regular classes for students of Class VI and VII in Odisha may resume soon, minister for School and Mass Education Sameer Ranjan Dash said today.
Speaking to reporters in Sambalpur, the minister said deliberations were on about the feasibility of reopening of offline classes for students of class VI and VII and a final call on the issue would be taken soon. “The decision on resumption of classes I to V will be taken in the next phase. In taking a call on the issue, we will have to take into consideration the fact that it is unrealistic to expect small children to follow the Covid guidelines,” he said.
The minister said the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued for resumption of classes VIII to XII will have to be observed for resumption of classroom teaching for students of Class I to VII as well. He said he was hopeful that all classes would resume by the New Year.
Offline classes have already resumed for students of Class VIII to XII in the state. While classes for students of Class X and XII reopened on July 26, 2021, those for students of classes VIII and IX resumed on October 21 and 25 respectively.
On Sunday, the minister had indicated that physical classes for students of Class I to VII could reopen after Diwali in view of the improvement in the Covid situation in the state. “We are hopeful that a decision on reopening of classes I to VII will be taken by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik any time after Diwali,” he had said.
The resumption of the long-suspended classes has been generally welcomed by both students and their parents. However, some school authorities have expressed apprehension about whether it would be feasible to follow the SOP issued by the government once all classes resume. “As of now, we are able to follow the guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distance. But it would be difficult to observe when all classes resume,” said the headmaster of a school in Kendrapara district.