After a gap of around 20-months, schools and colleges in West Bengal will reopen from November 16, announced the state chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, directing the chief secretary to assist in the process.
According to a school education department official, the government will release a notification for the resumption of physical classes for students of classes 9 to 12. The official stated that the decision to reopen schools for other classes will be determined later, based on the evolving Covid-19 scenario.
According to a state secretariat source, offline classes for colleges are set to resume soon.
At an administrative review meeting in Uttar Kanya, the state government's branch secretariat in Siliguri in North Bengal, Banerjee asked Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi to reopen schools and colleges from November 16 and also to clean them and take other measures.
Earlier, the chief minister stated that educational institutions will resume from November 15.
"I previously stated that educational institutions would resume from November 15. However, because that day is a holiday (the birth anniversary of tribal liberation fighter Birsa Munda), schools will now reopen from November 16," she stated.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year, all schools and universities in the state have been closed.
"According to early plans, children in junior classes up to Class 8 will continue to take online lessons and will not be required to attend school physically. A source in the state secretariat told PTI that plans are being made to reopen colleges.
However, doctors and teachers applauded the decision to reopen educational institutions.
Meanwhile, COVID cases are on the increase in the districts of Kolkata and North 24 Parganas. "At this time, we are not creating containment zones." Instead, we will choose micro-containment zones now," said Firhad Hakim, Kolkata Municipal Corporation administrator.