With daily COVID-19 cases falling significantly in Madhya Pradesh, the state government has allowed physical classes for students of primary schools – grades 1 to 5 – from September 20 with 50 per cent cap on attendance and by following COVID-19 protocols, an official said on Tuesday.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he said. The government had earlier reopened schools for in-person classes for students of grades 6 to 12 across the state with 50 per cent capacity.

It was also decided at the meeting that classes 8, 10 and 12 in residential schools can operate with cent per cent student strength from September 20, Deputy Secretary of School Education Department Pramod Singh said.

At the meeting, it was decided that government and private schools from classes 1 to 5 can reopen with 50 per cent student capacity from September 20 by adhering to COVID-19 protocols, he said.

Hostels for students of classes 8, 10 and 12 were also allowed to run with full capacity from the same date, Singh said.

Besides, hostels for class 11 students can run with 50 per cent capacity, the official said. Singh said respective district-level crisis management committees will take the final decision on reopening schools, hostels and residential schools in their jurisdiction keeping in mind the local coronavirus situation.

However, online classes will continue for students along with in-person study sessions, he said.

On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh recorded seven new coronavirus cases, but no fresh death. The state now has just 126 active cases of the infection. In-person classes were suspended in schools and colleges nationwide last year following the coronavirus outbreak and teaching shifted online.

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