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IF Bureau

Nearly 11 months after schools were shuttered in Odisha due to the nationwide shutdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the lives of the state’s Class 9 and 11 students will finally have a semblance of normalcy from today onwards.

Classes for these two standards will be held for two hours, divided into a total of three periods, from 8.30 to 10.30 in the morning, six days a week, until the end of April this year.

Expected to cover the revised syllabus (reduced by 30% in view of the pandemic-induced circumstances) within 100 days of classroom teaching, teachers have been directed to arrive half an hour before the commencement of starting period.

As per directives of the Centre and Odisha government, all schools shall operate in strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines. For instance, sitting arrangements in the reopened classes have been done in keeping with social distancing protocol and the size of classes.

School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash was quoted by the PTI as saying that the decision to restart classroom sessions for the students of classes 9 and 11 was made based on the experience of reopening schools for standards 10 and 12 a month ago.

In view of the acute shortage of teaching staff in state schools across Odisha, the government has allowed availing services of guest faculty and retired teachers to fill the gap.

Apart from Odisha, three other states – Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttarakhand – have opened more classes to their already running sessions of Class 10 and 12 (for their respective board exams) as the nation inches, slowly but surely, towards normal times.

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