All SOPs in place for reopening of junior classes from November 1: Education Minister Rymbui
Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on October 28 said that necessary protocols have been issued for reopening of schools for students of Class I to V from November 1.
“After consulting with the Health Department, we have decided to allow reopening of schools from Class I to V in the state,” Rymbui told the press.
He added, “The decision was taken after taking into consideration the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the state. Having said that, all necessary protocols have been prescribed and they need to be followed strictly.”
Stating that the consent of the parent is paramount, Rymbui said. “We have limited the hours for students in the schools as well as the number of students has also been limited to 15 per class.”
He however said that the school authorities have been asked to take a call based on the infrastructure they have, ensuring maximum protection of the students.
The education minister said that many states have already taken such a decision in view of the improving Covid-19 scenario in the country. “Moreover, many people in Meghalaya are fully vaccinated,” he stressed, urging unvaccinated citizens to take the jab for the safety of everybody.
“We cannot predict the future, we have to think about the present taking into consideration that in case of any eventuality we have to be ready. And the government in its wisdom and the health department are fully geared up to face any eventualities,” he said.
Turning attention to the demands of the teachers working under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) schools, Rymbui said that the state government is not in a financial position to regularise the services of over 12, 541 SSA teachers.
“It is not possible. The reason… (is) that the government of Meghalaya, as of now, is totally depending upon the central government to give us funds for payment of salary,” Rymbui told the press.
On the alleged violation of the RTE Act by the government, Rymbui however said, “We are not here to violate anything but we are here to streamline the education system.”
He was reacting to the ongoing demand of the teachers under the banner of the Meghalaya SSA Schools Association (MSSASA) for regularising all SSA teachers and to implement the pay scales according to the prescribed norms of the Right to Education (RTE)
The MSSASA has also announced that it will hold a mass rally on November 9 as a mark of protest against the government’s delay to release their pending salaries.
The Minister however expressed that the issue will be resolved soon as the Additional Chief Secretary was in Delhi last week and had meetings with the central government officials on the issue.
“We hope the government of India will immediately sanction the funds,” he concluded.
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