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Assam education news: Assam: Two-week shutdown of edu centres after Covid spike


GUWAHATI: All educational institutions, including coaching centres and hostels, here closed on Tuesday, as the daily count of positive cases crossed the 1,000 mark in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district on Monday.

The closure directive will persist till May 11, read the order issued by the Kamrup (Metropolitan) deputy commissioner. It stated that while all government and non-government educational institutions, including colleges and universities, will remain closed in the district, direction has been issued to make online classes available during the period of campus closure.

Campuses will be shut in at least 15 other districts from Wednesday, after the state education department issued another order to close down all educational institutions in districts where the cumulative total of positive cases in the last 10 days exceeded 300. In view of the fresh directive to save campuses from the second wave of Covid-19, educational institutions, hostels and coaching institutes will remain closed for 15 days from Wednesday (April 28) till May 12 across Kamrup, Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Barpeta, Cachar, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Darrang, Hojai, Bongaigaon, Nalbari and Sivasagar districts. All of these areas crossed the 300 figure by Monday night.

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These closure orders, if not reviewed, may jeopardize the plans to conduct the Class 10 and 12 state board examinations, scheduled to begin on May 11. The new academic session in the schools of Assam began on April 1 and thus, there is little pressure on the state government to restart the offline classes soon. However, sources in the education department said that when campuses remain closed, the conduct of the board examinations may draw flak from the public.

The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) will review the Covid situation in the first week of May, before taking a final decision on the Class 10 boards. Seba chairman RC Jain, however, told TOI that they are willing to go ahead to conduct the exams as per the already announced schedule. “We will review the Covid situation on May 4 in order to take a call on the boards. Everything will depend on the improvement or deterioration of the situation. But I believe that there is a vast difference between conducting regular classes and conducting examinations,” Jain said.

Seba recently announced a new sitting arrangement in exam halls to maintain distancing. But Jain informed that the board has also sought the opinion of the health department for conducting the board examination amid the surge.

The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) too, has adopted a wait and watch policy before taking a final decision on the upcoming Class 12 state board examinations. “Very soon we will decide on the exam plans. Closure of the campuses in several districts, as directed by the government, is a new problem,” AHSEC secretary Ramesh Chutia said.

All exams under Gauhati University (GU) have been put on hold till further orders. A meeting chaired by GU vice-chancellor Prof. Pratap Jyoti Handique on Tuesday discussed in detail the nature of internet connectivity available to all students. About 2.5 lakh students live in different remote areas. And not all of them have laptops and smart phones. It has been decided that these examinations will be held in the offline mode with 20 days prior notification after the situation reverts to normalcy.

“Many of our students are from the remotest corners of the state. For them, the online mode of examination is not feasible at all,” said GU registrar HK Nath. The boarders of all GU hostels have been asked to vacate the hostels at the earliest.





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