Aiming to reopen schools and colleges after Diwali in Gujarat, Education Minister Bhupendra-sinh Chudasama Thursday held a meeting of senior officials of the department to finalise the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s instruction.
The state board exams is also likely to be pushed by two months to May, with a truncated syllabus. Schools affiliated to Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) closed online classes on October 29 for Diwali vacations and are scheduled to reopen on November 18. Private schools have their own vacation schedule.
Colleges and schools in the state were closed for physical classes since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chudasama held the meeting after Chief Minister Vijay Rupani instructed the department about the same at a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday.
Chudasama said, “Yesterday, the Chief Minister had instructed the education department to start preparing for the reopening of schools (after Diwali). In that context, I held a meeting with secretaries and senior officials of the department today. I have instructed them to prepare SOP for reopening schools for Class 9 to 12 and colleges. Tomorrow, I will meet vice- chancellors of universities through video-conference.”
“After framing the SOP, a decision will be taken on when to start the schools and colleges, after consultations with the CM, Deputy CM and top officials of the education and health departments,” Chudasama added.
The state board exams for Class 10 and 12 are likely to be pushed to May, instead of March, with 30 per cent reduced curriculum, said GSHSEB chairman, A J Shah.
Education experts had recommended against resuming pre-primary and primary classes this academic session, and other classes before Diwali. The state government had also clarified that it was in no hurry to reopen schools.
Chudasama also said that the government will first reopen schools for classes 9 to 12 and colleges. “The decision on reopening schools for Class 1 to 8 will be taken later on the basis of experience of the first phase,” he said.
The SOP is likely to be announced in the next 2-3 days.