Schools across Odisha reopened for students of class 9 on Monday while adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Following the instructions of the School and Mass Education (S&ME) department, both government and private schools have reopened for students of class 9 for the academic session 2021-22. Classes began at 9 am and continued till 12.30 pm. There will be no recess or lunch hour, an official said. Students and teachers were allowed to enter the premises after thermal screening and hand sanitization. Wearing masks has been made mandatory and social distancing is being maintained, an official said. Teaching will be done in four periods and the students will be allowed to go home at 12.30 pm, a teacher in Bhubaneswar said.
In case any student or staff is found to have a high temperature or any other Covid like symptoms, he/she will be sent to an isolation room and the local administration will be informed to take necessary steps, he said. Physical classrooms are always much better than online classes where the students directly interact with teachers and make their doubts clear, a student said. As the timing for classes 9 and 10 is different, it will not be difficult to ensure social distancing among the students, a teacher said.
Due to the onset of the pandemic, classroom teaching had been suspended since March 2020. The students have since studied online. Now, the students will have both online and offline options. School hostels have also reopened for the class 9 students from Monday. This apart, the department has already decided to adopt continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) for students of classes 9 and 10 for the first time. Students and their parents should take this process seriously as these examinations will help the board to publish the results of the students in difficult situations, an official said.
The department has planned to conduct four formative assessments and two summative assessments. These examinations will be conducted by the class teacher or subject teachers by September second week, November first week, January second week, and March second week, he said. The schools had reopened for classes 10 and 12 on July 26 following an improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the state. Classes for class 11 students will commence from September 15, the official said.