Guwahati: Assam health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that elementary schools in the state will reopen from January 1, 2021, in a staggered manner. Addressing a presser, the minister said detailed SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) on the development will soon be released.

Sarma announced the reopening of elementary schools in a press conference at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati, according to media reports, where he stated that the Covid-19 situation in the state is under control.

Earlier this month, the state government allowed students of Class 6 and above to attend school, but only after consent from their parents. Schools were following an odd-even system to minimise the risk of spreading the infection.

The education department decided that students of classes 6, 7, 9 and 12 will have classroom teachings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of every week while those of classes 8, 10 and 11 will come to school on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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As of now, a total of 981 people have died because of the Covid-19 pandemic in Assam, the education minister informed. He also said that Assam has registered a total of 2,12,617 Covid-19 cases out of which 2,08,283 have recovered from the disease.

The education minister, while talking about the reopening of educational institutes in Assam, said that the college hostels in the state will reopen from December 15 with several Covid-19 safety guidelines set into place.

The hostels across the state will open with certain limitations for the safety of the students, according to the minister, and only final year students will be allowed to enter the hostels initially to prevent overcrowding.