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West Bengal: Schools to reopen for primary classes from February 16

February 15, 2022
Mita Mukherjee

All primary and upper primary schools in West Bengal will reopen for in-person classes on February 16, the state government announced on Monday.

Physical classes for students of VIII to XII had resumed on February 3. The state government had started open air neighborhood schools for students up to Class VII studying in state-aided schools under a project named “Paray Shikshalay” on February 7.

Specific guidelines will be issued for smooth running of the schools, a circular issued by the government today said.

This is the first time that primary school children will be back on campuses since the pandemic broke out in March 2020.

“ The competent authority in the Government of West Bengal has decided to reopen schools on campus for the students of all classes of primary and upper primary schools including SSK/MSK with effect from 16.02.2022. … maintaining all COVID norms and protocols. You are requested to guide the process closely for smooth reopening of the schools…” the circular issued read.

Schools have been asked to take suitable steps for cleanliness of the campuses, according to the circular.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday had said that primary schools in the state could be reopened after a few more days following proper review of the Covid-19 situation and talks with school authorities.  

“After evaluating the situation and if we find that the new variant is not of concern, we can decide on opening the primary sections and allow 50 per cent students on the basis of the rotational method. We have to talk to the school authorities and decide,” she had said.  

Heads of several schools in Kolkata today said this was a welcome decision and they will take all possible steps to make the campuses functional so that the physical classes for the primary and upper primary classes are resumed  as soon as possible.

According to principals of several ICSE schools the annual examinations for the primary and upper primary classes are in progress at present. The exams are being held online and there will be no change in the mode of conducting the test.

In Bengal schools had first reopened for students of Classes IX to XII in February last year but they were shut again in April. The institutions had reopened again for Classes IX to XII on November 16 but they returned to only online classes on January 3 because of the recent surge in Covid – 19 cases.

Also read: Karnataka: Less than one third classes 6-8 students attend in person classes

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