Chandigarh: The government of Punjab has finally decided to reopen primary classes at all schools from January 27, several months after they were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, the state government had reopened schools for Classes 5 to 12. “Following persistent demand of parents, the state government has decided to reopen all schools for primary classes from January 27, ” Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said in a statement here.
The Minister said as per the decision, Students of Classes 3 and 4 will be allowed to attend the school from January 27. From February 1, Classes 1 and 2 will be restarted at all schools, he said.
The timings will remain the same from 10 AM to 3 PM and parents will have to give written consent before sending their wards to schools. Singla directed officials and school managements to ensure proper cleaning of premises and follow the COVID-19 safety norms.
He said detailed guidelines will be issued soon to all district education officers, which will be circulated to all government, aided and private schools. Meanwhile, all government and private universities in Punjab will reopen on January 21 after over 10 months of closure due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
As per a statement, the Punjab Government has decided to reopen all the government-aided and non-aided colleges including all the government and private universities from January 21. All the higher educational institutes have to follow the guidelines issued by the Punjab Government regarding Covid-19 from time to time.
The Higher Education Department, Punjab has issued a detailed letter to all the universities and colleges in this regard.
"In the interest of students, educational institutions should conduct classes both offline and online and conduct the semester/annual examinations through offline medium only," the statement quoted an official spokesperson from the Punjab government, adding that students would be allowed to take classes as per their choice and no institute should compel the students to be physically present at the institution.
All hostels in universities and colleges have to remain open while following COVID-19 instructions and each hostel room should be allotted according to the size of the room keeping in view the required distance/safety of the students.
Priority should be given to final year students at the time of allotment and the mess/canteens should be opened as per the instructions of the health department taking all necessary safety measures, the statement added.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are currently 2,617 active cases in Punjab. A total of 1,62,484 recoveries and 5,504 deaths have been reported in the state so far.