Panaji: The Goa education department is expecting to start the new academic session from September this year, state education director Santosh Amonkar has said.

The annual academic session in Goa begins in the first week of June, but it has been delayed this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The state education department was earlier hoping to start the 2020-21 academic year by August 15.

"But that doesn’t seem to be happening now looking at the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. We are expecting that at least by September we should be able to start the schools," Amonkar told PTI.

"Even if we start the schools, it would be in a staggered manner. Higher classes like standard XII would start first," he said, adding that students in higher classes are able to maintain social distancing and abide by the guidelines.

Amonkar said schools have been asked to begin online classes for students, but due to issues related to connectivity and gadgets, the number of students is less for such classes.

"The government has already instructed that teachers should help the students who could not make it to the online classes," he said.

Amonkar said the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has decided to reduce the syllabus for the new academic year by 28 to 30%.

"The syllabus will have to be reduced further, if there is further delay in the resumption of schools, he added.

The move comes amid the state's COVID-19 cases crossing the 4,000-mark and reaching 4,027 on Tuesday (July 21) with 174 new detections, the state health department said.

With three more patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll has risen to 26, a health bulletin said.

A total of 88 patients were discharged during the day, taking the tally of recovered cases to 2,449, it said. The deceased included two men and a woman.

(With inputs from PTI)

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