The Centre has framed a plan to reopen schools and other educational institutions in a phase-wise manner starting from September 1 till November 14 starting with senior classes. The modalities of the plan have been discussed by the group of secretaries attached to the Group of Ministers on Covid-19 management, headed by health minister Harsh Vardhan.
The decision is likely to be notified as part of the final unlock guidelines to be issued later this month which would guide the states on unlocking the remaining activities after August 31. According to sources, the final decision would be left to the state governments on when and how to bring back students to the classrooms.
Following a quick survey conducted earlier in July by the department of school education that indicated that parents are not in favour of sending their children to schools, the state governments have argued before the Centre that students of economically weaker sections are suffering. Broad standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be issued for all educational institutions.
A senior official said, “The state, where case loads have been low, have also expressed their keenness to bring back students of senior classes.”
Earlier, the guidelines, vetted by the Ministry of human resource development and the health ministry, recommended the reopening of schools in a phased manner. For the first 15 days, students of classes 10 to 12 would be asked to attend school and different sections of a class would be asked to attend school on particular days.
North Eastern states, the hill states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the UTs may be in a position to reopen schools. As per sources, the Centre would recommend it and state governments may take a final decision seeing the number of Covid-19 cases and on the basis of the opinion of school managements and parents.
Source: Times of IndiaNational, News