The Tripura State Government has decided to open all government and its aided schools in the state from October 5, 2020. Schools shall be opened in accordance with the norms issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 50% teaching staff shall be allowed to attend school. However, the percentage of student attendance has not yet been decided. Students shall be allowed to attend school on a voluntary basis with prior permission from their parents/guardians. Schools and educational institutions were forced to shut from March 21, 2020. They are all set to reopen in October in the state of Tripura.
The decision to open schools in Tripura was taken during a high-power committee meeting of the Education Department that was held at the Civil Secretariat. Vice chancellors of Tripura University (Central) and Maharaja Bir Bikram University as well as officials of Elementary and Higher Education Departments were the attendees. According to the state government officials, 50% teachers shall be allowed to attend school from October 5. School management is instructed to prepare a school roster to ensure only 50% attendance of the teaching staff. School students shall be permitted to attend school on a voluntary basis. However, they are required to present the written consent of their parents or guardians.
Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath, after the meeting on Thursday, said that students of classes 9 to 12 shall be permitted to come to school to solve their subject-related queries. However, the percentage of students allowed in each school hasn’t yet been decided. Online/virtual education shall continue to be encouraged.
There are nearly 4,400 government schools in the state of Tripura. During the pandemic, the state government established various services to ensure that the education of students is not affected. The Education Department launched online classes, video lecture sessions on television, Students’ Helpline Call Centre for assistance and SMS based classes for all students in the state. The department had also established neighbourhood classes from August 20, 2020. These classes had a 1:5 teacher-student ratio and were primarily meant for those who could avail online classes due to lack of facilities or gadgets. However, this service was suspended within a week due to the rising COVID19 cases and related deaths.
Tripura has the second highest number of COVID19 cases after Assam in the north-eastern region of the country. The number of infections is around 23000 with 250 COVID-19 deaths in the state. The Tripura Joint Entrance Examination, scheduled on September 25 and 26, were also indefinitely postponed in Thursday’s meeting. However, the officials have decided to partially resume schools from October, 2020.