With a steady drop in COVID-19 cases in Gujarat, the state government has allowed the resumption of physical classes for students of 1 to 5 who can attend schools from November 22, state education minister Jitu Vaghani said on Sunday. This will be for the first time that students from classes 1 to 5 will be attending schools in person since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent imposition of restrictions. Addressing reporters in Ahmedabad, Vaghani said the offline teaching for classes 1 to 5 will resume when (Diwali) vacation ends on November 22. Permission of parents is required for sending their wards to schools. "The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) remains the same as applied for other classes where offline education is resumed," he said. The state education department will make necessary arrangements to ensure that classes resume without much hassle and the SOP is strictly adhered to, he said. "Schools will make arrangements for the resumption of offline classes (for students of 1 to 5) from tomorrow in consultation with the state government," he said.
Offline classes for classes 6 to 8 had resumed in Gujarat on September 2 with a 50 per cent capacity. The government had also allowed online classes to continue along with offline classes and kept the attendance of students optional. At the beginning of July, the state government had allowed the reopening of schools for class 12, colleges, and technical institutions in view of a significant drop in new coronavirus cases. Gujarat had reported 36 coronavirus positive cases in the last 24 hours preceding Saturday, taking the total number of infections in the state to 8,27,184, the state health department had said. Gujarat was left with 323 active cases as of Saturday.