Educational institutions across Assam resumed regular classes from Monday after a seven-month break because of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government decided to allow schools, colleges, technical education institutes and coaching centres to start classes and introduced an elaborate list of guidelines to ensure safety of students.

As per the guidelines, students belonging to classes VI and above will be allowed to attend classes with written consent of their parents.

Students below class VI are not required to attend schools.

An odd-even mechanism and staggered timetable will be followed for all classes.

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Students of classes VI, VIII, X and XII will attend classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while those from classes VII, IX and XII will need to be present on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Students will have to come to school in two batches. The first batch starts at 8am and ends at 12noon, and the next batch will start at 12.30pm and continue till 3.30pm.

If there are less than 20 students in a class, a single batch will be allowed.

Students will have to wear masks, sanitise their hands and maintain a social distance of six feet (ft) both inside and outside classrooms. Teachers and other employees will also have to wear masks compulsorily.

Simultaneously, online classes will continue for students, who don’t want to come to schools.

Schools will be sanitised every weekend, preferably on Sundays.

Students and teachers will also undergo a thermal scanning on a daily basis.

Mid-day meals will be served in government-run schools from 11.30am to 12noon and between 12.30pm and 1pm for the two separate batches, respectively.

Cooks and helpers will have to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests before they are allowed to prepare mid-day meals for students.

The tests will be done every 15 days, or if any person shows Covid-19-related symptoms.

School buses will be allowed to fill only one-third of their total capacity of seats while transporting students to and from schools.

If a Covid-19 case is detected in a school, classes will resume after students, teachers, helpers etc undergo rapid antigen detection (RAD) tests.

In case of detection of multiple Covid-19 cases, schools will be closed for a week and classes to resume after a sanitisation drive of the campus.

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