Schools shut till Feb 15, but teachers directed to attend



Schools, colleges and other academic institutions will continue to remain shut for students until polling day, but teachers and faculty will have to report to campuses to continue online instruction, a new government order has said.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Kumar, IAS, said in a fresh order issued on Sunday that schools shall be closed for students till February 15 but teachers are to attend schools for conducting online classes.

Colleges and other higher education institutions are also required to shut their campuses for students. The conduct of examinations, however, has been exempted from the restriction, Kumar’s order said.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Health Services and the Education department and other school authorities have been directed to complete the vaccination of the 15 to 18 years age group students at the earliest.

Sunday’s order also extends the restrictive SOPs for a range of social and economic activities up to February 15.

Casinos, cinema halls, river cruises, waterparks and entertainment parks are to operate at 50 per-cent capacity and the onus of compliance is on the business establishments, Kumar said in the order.

Also all these venues and at public places, safety protocols will have to be strictly followed including at Spas, massage parlours, restaurants, pubs, bars, auditoriums, gyms, marriage venues.

Entry also has to be restricted only to either fully vaccinated clients or those who have a Covid negative certificate issued within a 48-hour period.

Also, the order states that the onus of following Covid protocols will lie with the owners, managers, licensees, organisers. They have been made responsible for the enforcement of the Covid norms by making necessary arrangements so as not to violate the order. 

In addition, the inter-state travel will be strictly for fully vaccinated persons or those having 72-hours valid covid negative certificate. The certificate will have to be produced while entering the state. 

Also, under the scanner are the public gatherings which are feared to be the spreader of the current Omicron variant. 

Public gatherings in case of indoor halls, auditoriums, community halls, mandaps, open spaces etc have been restricted to 50 per cent of the seating, venue capacity or as per the limit imposed by ECI, whichever is less, the order added. 

The order states further that number of Covid cases being reported in Goa continue to be high and the situation might further aggravate if public gatherings and active interactions are permitted unrestricted.

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