Bengal Education department drafts SOP for school reopening

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The West Bengal government’s school education department has drafted a tentative standard operating procedure (SOP) for reopening schools for higher classes from November 16 after the festive season and sent it to state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ for approval, an official said on Thursday. The draft SOP says offline classes are to be held in a staggered manner, according to the official.

“For instance, the students of classes 9 and 10 will not enter the school building at the same time and there will be a half-an-hour gap between their entry. Similar procedures will be followed for classes 11 and 12,” he said.

The draft suggests that the total duration of tutorials for classes 9 and 11 will be around 5 hours while that for classes 10 and 12 will be about 6 hours with a 15-minute tiffin break, he said. “We have sent the draft to Nabanna. These are recommendations only,” the official said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said schools will open on November 16, after a gap of around 20 months, and directed the chief secretary to facilitate the process. The school education department then said only classes from 9 to 12 will start from November 16 and a decision on other classes will be made later considering the emergent Covid-19 situation.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education President Chiranjib Bhattacharya and West Bengal Board of Secondary Education President Kalyanmoy Ganguly convened a joint press conference on November 1 on holding the board exams of classes 12 and 10 respectively.