Some schools and educational institutes in Assam are likely to open from September 1, the state's Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday. Assam is planning a graded opening of educational institutions in the state, Mr Sarma added.
"We have been planning to open schools from September 1. But a final decision will be taken after consultation with the central government," Mr Sarma told reporters during an interaction at Janata Bhawan, Guwahati, on Saturday. He said for Classes till 4 or children below nine will be exempted.
To ensure safety of students, mandatory COVID-19 testing of teachers and non-teaching employees will be conducted from August 23 to 30.
"Only teachers who test negative will be allowed to resume duties," said Mr Sarma.
Several teaching and non-teaching staff in the state are currently performing various COVID-19 duties as educational institutes have been kept shut since the lockdown started in late March.
The minister said the state will announce a list of 355 schools - 197 high schools, nine primary schools and 149 junior colleges - that it will take over.
"The state government will also open 119 new high schools and provide employment to at least 240 teachers and 80 Grade 4 and Grade 4 employees," Mr Sarma said.
He said the state government is already in sync with the recommendations of the "historic" National Education Policy (NEP). Mr Sarma announced a 40-member committee under the leadership of state principal secretary for education to prepare a blueprint for implementing the recommendations by January next year.
"The committee that will be constituted by next week will be further divided into groups that will look after various aspects of the recommendations. With over 25,000 villages, to bring a complete structural reform of the educational infrastructure in the state will be challenging, but I am hopeful that a blueprint will be formed by January next year," Mr Sarma said.