The Odisha government has decided to reopen schools for classes 10 and 12 from July 26, a senior official said.
Offline Matric Exams (class 10) will be held from July 30 to August 5 in the state adhering to Covid protocols, said School and Mass Education Department Principal Secretary Satyabrata Sahu.
The decision to resume classroom teaching for the two classes was made keeping in mind the problems faced by students in online mode due to poor internet connectivity, Sahu said.
He said the decision will be applicable for both the government and non-government schools across the state.
However, it is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes in schools.
Along with classes 10 and 12, the present online mode of teaching will continue for all classes, he said.
"We have been able to reach out to 40 per cent of students via online teaching while the remaining 60 per cent are yet to be connected. These students have lost 150 days of regular teaching days," Sahu said.
He told reporters that schools will function from 10 am to 1:30 pm and there will be no lunch break.
Replying to a question, Sahu said, "If the Covid-19 situation improves, schools will also reopen for class 9 by August 16. The schools will be sanitised one week prior to the reopening."
However, an official note issued by the department said that district collectors will take a final call on
reopening of schools after reviewing local Covid situation.
The state government is also planning to reopen schools for class 11 students from September 15 after completion of admission into Plus II courses, it said.
All teachers will be vaccinated on a priority basis before schools are reopened and District Education Officers have been instructed to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols are strictly followed.
Sahu said that the department will issue a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the reopening of institutions.
The state government will introduce the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) methodology for evaluation of students' performance in classes 9 and 10 from the academic year 2021-22.
Odisha's new assessment criteria will be on the line of CBSE and other education boards in the country.
According to the provision of the CCE, in the 2021-22 academic year, the department has decided to conduct four formative (short) and two summative assessments. The four formative assessments will be held in the second weeks of September, November, January and March.
The final examinations will be held as usual in the month of March.
Sahu also said that the Council of Higher Secondary Education is also planning to start the CCE system at the Plus II level. The performance of students in practical and projects will also be evaluated continuously throughout the academic year, he said.