Ahmedabad, Feb 13 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Saturday announced reopening of schools for students of Classes 6 to 8 from February 18.
Attendance will not be compulsory for students, though, and online classes will continue.
Physical classes for these students across schools of all boards will resume with strict adherence to the Centre's COVID-19 norms and guidelines issued by the state government, education secretary Vinod Rao said.
The decision was taken keeping in mind long-term interest of students as coronavirus cases in the state have declined, he added.
District education officers and primary education officers shall ensure that schools comply with the standard operating procedure to avoid coronavius infections, he said.
Rao also clarified that attendance at schools will be voluntary, and parents' consent will be necessary for students who wish to attend. Online classes will continue for those who do not wish to attend physical classes.
Schools in containment zones will remain closed.
Masks will be mandatory for students, teachers and other staff.
Classes 10 to 12 and final-year classes of undergraduate and postgraduate courses resumed from January 11, followed by Classes 9 and 11 on February 1 and first-year college classes from February 8.
According to the state government, the number of students in Classes 9 to 12 has gradually increased from 40 per cent to 70 per cent after resumption.
Gujarat has recorded 2,64,718 COVID-19 cases and 4,400 deaths so far. PTI KA PD ARU KRK KRK