West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday announced that students in classes 9 to 12 would be back in schools from February 12, almost 11 months after the schools were closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Several other states have also announced the reopening of schools this month.
The minister said the consent of parents would be mandatory for attending physical classes. However, he added that students’ attendance might not be compulsory.
Chatterjee said school administrations would be scrutinised to see how effectively they implement the Standard Operating Procedure. Schools, which closed on March 16 last year, were being thoroughly sanitised at regular intervals, he added. The minister claimed that students and teachers were not at risk of contracting Covid-19.
With some students and teachers associations calling for a phased resumption of classes, the government said it would look into the demand. On January 17, Chatterjee had said, “West Bengal schools will reopen at the appropriate time”.
The government had earlier announced that the West Bengal Board exams for Class 10 would begin on June 1 and end on June 10, while the Class 12 exams would begin on June 15, and end on June 30.