Andhra schools to reopen on Monday, only 16 students per classroom. Image Source: IANS News

Amaravati, Oct 31 : With schools in Andhra Pradesh set to reopen from Monday for students of Classes 9 and 10, the Andhra Pradesh government has once again emphasised that all health precautions and protocols will be followed, including seating of only 16 students per classroom.

Allowing limited number of students in each classroom is aimed at maintaining all social distancing norms, it said. The 2020-21 academic year has since been extended to April 30 to ensure 180 working days.

School Education Commissioner V Chinna Veerabhadrudu said that state schools will reopen in phases for different classes.

Class IX and X students will be physically present in classrooms from Monday onwards in afternoon hours on alternate days of the week.

For students of Classes VI to VIII, schools will reopen from November 23. For Classes I to V, physical presence in classrooms will resume from December 14.

"Wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining physical distance are mandatory for every student and teacher. Everyday, students will undergo orientation on Covid precautions. Classes will be held from 9.15 am to 1.45 pm, followed by midday meals," said Veerabhadrudu.

After physical classes in the morning session, online classes will be held for those who could not attend earlier ones.

"Alternate arrangements will be made for students who opt to stay home and pursue online education, by deploying dedicated mobile apps like Abyasa and Diksa, along with Doordarshan classes and YouTube channels, based on students' access to technology," said the Commissioner.

In case of residential schools, the state government has decided to make hostel facilities available anytime between November 2 and 23, prioritising the needs of students who do not have alternate accommodation.

As part of preparations for reopening of schools, the Andhra Pradesh government has provided grants to acquire equipment like thermal scanners, hand sanitisers etc.

"Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) from Health and Transport Departments were also sought and school SOPs will be decided on November 1 after holding discussions with parents' committees," he added.

There are around 60,000 schools, including aided, unaided and private ones, in the southern state.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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