- Central government allowed phase-wise reopening of schools
- The Centre said states will have the final say to open or continue to keep schools shut
- Several states including Delhi, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have decided to keep schools shut
From tomorrow, 15th October 2020, the schools outside the containment zones will be allowed to reopen in a phased manner but will have to with strict COVID-19 norms put in place. Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had released detailed guidelines for reopening of schools and colleges in the country in a phased manner, starting from October 15.
However, the Centre said that the states will have the final authority in deciding whether they want to resume schools or not. While many states, including Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, have decided not to reopen schools, others like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have announced the reopening of schools.
In Unlock 4.0, the schools were partially reopened, on a voluntary basis for classes 9 to 12 from the 21st of September.
Let us see what the states have decided on the reopening of the schools:
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has decided to maintain the status quo on schools’ closure until 31st of October following which a review of the COVID-19 situation in the national capital will be done before making a decision on reopening of the school.
The Punjab government has issued fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools under its jurisdiction from the 15th of October. As per the fresh notification which was issued by the Punjab government, only classes 9th to 12th will be allowed initially and not more than 20 students per section will be allowed.
3. Uttar Pradesh
The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has announced that the schools outside of the containment zones will reopen from the October 19 for students of classes 9 to 12 only.
The Karnataka government has said that it is in no hurry to reopen the schools in the state and will take a call on the issue after evaluating all aspects because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chhattisgarh government has said that the schools in the state will continue to remain closed until further orders in view of the pandemic.
The Maharashtra government has said it will assess the COVID-19 situation post-Diwali and till then schools will continue to remain closed being the epicentre of the novel Coronavirus in the country. Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra said, “Schools will not reopen in Maharashtra till Diwali is over. After Diwali, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will assess the situation before taking any decision,”.
The Gujarat government has also said it is likely to consider reopening schools only after Diwali
8. Andhra Pradesh
The Andhra Pradesh government has also decided not to resume normal classes till November 2.
9. West Bengal
The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has said that the decision on reopening of schools will be taken only after mid-November.
Here are the guidelines put in place for the opening of schools, colleges, other educational institutions and coaching institutions
In order to re-open any schools and coaching institutions, the State/ Union Territory Governments have been given the flexibility to decide after 15th October 2020, in a graded manner. The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/ institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to the following conditions:
a.) Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged by the educational institutions.
b.) Where the schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
c.) Students may attend schools/ institutions only with the written consent of their parents.
d.) Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on the parental consent.
e.) The States/ UTs will prepare their SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) regarding the health and safety precautions for reopening of schools/ institutions which will be based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.
f.) Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.
g.) The Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education may decide on the timing of the opening of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation.
h.) Having said this, the Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/ experimental works will be permitted to open from 15th October, 2020, as under:
-For Centrally Funded Higher Education Institutions, the Head of Institution will satisfy herself/ himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for laboratory/experimental works.
-For all other Higher Education Institutions e.g. State Universities, Private Universities etc., they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and postgraduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective State/UT Governments.