The Odisha government has announced that in-person classes for students of Classes I to V would resume in the state from January 3, 2022. The state’s school and mass education minister, S.R Dash made this announcement on December 28.
Talking to media persons in Bhubaneswar, Dash said that as per the directions of the chief minister, the physical mode of teaching will be resumed in about 27,000 schools in the state from January 3, 2022. He, however, added that online classes will also continue and students can attend in-person classes only after consultation with local guardians or parents.
However, on-campus classes will resume from January 10, 2022 in schools where the summative exam for Class X students has been scheduled, Dash said. In some schools, the summative assessment-1 is scheduled to be held between January 5 and January 8.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued for Classes VI to XII has to be followed by all the primary schools once they resume on-campus classes, the minister said. Classes for I to V will be held between 9am and 12pm without any break, he added.
However, in a bid to ensure safety of students attending classes, the Odisha government has decided against serving freshly-cooked meals to students under the Mid-Day Meal scheme. The eligible students will be provided dry ration instead, Dash said.
While schools in Odisha are gearing up to resume physical classes for primary schools, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has directed officials to make preparations on war-footing to deal with a possible third wave of COVID-19 following the detection of at least eight cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by the more-transmissible Omicron variant in the state.
The information and public relations department of Odisha mentioned in a tweet on December 29 that the state reported a total of 221 new positive cases of COVID-19 on December 28 and at least 34 of the new patients were below the age of 18 years.