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Classes V-XII to reopen in Punjab today; January 18 date for Rajasthan  


CHANDIGARH/JAIPUR/DEHRADUN: All schools for Class V to XII will reopen in Punjab on Thursday, while higher educational institutions, coaching centres as well as schools start functioning from January 18 in Rajasthan. Universities and colleges in another northern state, Uttarakhand, will reopen in the first week of February. 

All these states will ensure restrictions apart from the SOPs related to Covid for reopening schools, colleges and universities. In Rajasthan, schools will only allow Classes IX to XII students, while final-year students of degree courses will attend classes in colleges and universities.

Punjab school education minister Vijay Inder Singla said the government has decided to reopen schools from January 7 following the persistent demand of parents. Schools timings have been fixed from 10 am to 3 pm. Singla said the education department had taken feedback from the school heads and, besides ensuring safety of the children, they have also suggested the department to reopen the schools before the annual exams for final revision of studies.

After a review meeting, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot announced that educational institutions could start functioning in the improved scenario which is better than about a month ago.  The Covid recovery rate is 96.31% in the state, with some districts reporting almost no cases. Classes will only have 50% of the total strength of students on each day on an alternate basis.

However, medical colleges, dental colleges, nursing colleges and paramedical colleges will reopen from January 11 in view of the upcoming plan for Covid vaccination. Teachers will also be given special training by the health department, said Rajasthan officials.

The Rajasthan government’s decision is being widely welcomed in the coaching hub of Kota even as many parents struck a wary note on allowing their children to go out for classes. “We will enforce all protocols prescribed by the government,” said Naveen,  Maheshwari director, Allen Career Institute.

State seeks inputs from schools
The State Education minister Vijay Inder Singla said following the CM’s directions, all school authorities have been asked to strictly comply with Covid precautions. The government had taken feedback from school heads.