Patna | Jagran Education Desk: Nearly a year after the Centre imposed a nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Nitish Kumar-led BJP-JDU government in Bihar has decided to reopen schools for primary classes from March 1.

Issuing guidelines, the state government, however, has said that an inspection of students will be carried out in schools after 15 days of reopening after which a decision will be taken whether to continue the classes or not.

"We have decided to reopen the school for junior students from March 1. A progress check after 15 working days will decide the continuance or discontinuance of the classes," said Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar in a statement.

All schools, colleges and educational institutions were closed across the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, with a dip in active COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed schools and colleges to reopen in a "phased manner".

Following the guidelines from the Centre, several states -- including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi -- reopened schools in a limited manner. In Bihar, the state government had reopened schools for classes 9 to 12 from February 04. Four days later, it allowed schools to reopen for classes 6 to 8.

However, the state government has said that it will be mandatory for schools to follow COVID-19 protocols, adding that usage of masks and maintaining social distancing will be compulsory.

It had also said that classes will be held in two shifts and only 50 per cent of students will be allowed to visit the schools. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) further asked school authorities to randomly conduct a medical examination of the students.

"We have also requested the health department for random testing of students and teachers in the schools. Wherever any case is detected, the schools have to be closed immediately. We want the schools to run, but there will be no leniency in following the Covid protocol," the state government said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma