Schools and colleges in Sikkim reopen after 6 months for senior classes

Schools and colleges in Sikkim reopened after a gap of almost six months with students from class 9 onwards returning for in-person learning at state-run, government-aided and private educational institutes beginning Monday. In-person offline classes for students of lower KG to class 8, however, will continue to remain closed till further orders, officials have said.

“Students should come to school only with written permission from their parents,” said a notification issued by GP Upadhyaya, additional chief secretary of the state’s educational department.

The state has an estimated population of 650,000 and 762 schools, ranging from primary to senior secondary levels. Students in primary and secondary schools will continue to be taught online or through home schooling.

“We started home schooling for students up to class 8 as it has helped 30,000 students with many of them living in remote areas,” said Bhim Thatal, state project director for Samagra Shiksha- a programme for holistic learning.

Educational institutions in the Himalayan state were shut down in mid-March following the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 following a brief period when in-person classes had resumed after the first Covid wave abated in late 2020.

The resumption of classes has been allowed with a cap of 50% on students’ attendance for all universities, colleges, tutorials and hostels in the state, an official said.

On Sunday, Sikkim registered 79 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of residents infected so far to 30,242 including 967 active cases and 373 Covid-19 deaths.

Even though India reported its first Covid-19 case in January 2020 and the country entered into lockdown mode in late March, Sikkim registered its first Coronavirus case on May 23, 2020. The first Covid death in the state was registered on July 26.

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