Updated: August 28, 2021 10:23:24 am
SCHOOLS FOR classes IX-XII, colleges, universities and coaching institutes in Delhi will reopen in phases from September 1, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Friday.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which includes Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lt Governor Anil Baijal, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria and NITI Aayog member (health) V K Paul.
Sisodia said students will require the permission of their parents or guardians to attend physical classes. Those who are not comfortable with attending physical classes will have the option to continue with the online mode.
“Social distancing will have to be ensured. No child will be forced to attend school and no child will be marked absent for skipping physical classes. Classes will take place in blended mode — both online and physical,” said Sisodia. He said detailed guidelines will be issued soon.
After the DDMA meeting, a senior official who attended the deliberations said Classes VI-VIII will resume from September 8. However, Sisodia said the decision on allowing students below Class IX will be taken after assessing the first phase of reopening.
“In view of decreasing Covid cases, schools are being slowly reopened in Delhi with complete precautions, so that the learning loss for students can be reduced. We have to bring life back on track and take care of studies as well as health of students,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
Universities said they are keen on reopening but will need some time. Delhi University Registrar Vikas Gupta said the executive council will meet on August 31, followed by internal meetings where a decision will be taken.
JNU Rector Chintamani Mahapatra said the university will open soon in a phased manner. IIT-Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao said a reopening schedule was being prepared.
While physical classes were suspended in Delhi’s schools on March 12 last year, senior classes had reopened briefly in January-March this year. However, all educational institutes went back to online mode in April, amid the second wave of Covid-19 cases across the country.
An in-principle decision to reopen schools from September 1 was taken by the DDMA earlier this month after experts, including Dr Guleria of AIIMS, said that “opening of schools must be considered as students have suffered a lot”.
On Friday, Sisodia said online classes could not match physical classes. “So far, five states across the country have reopened all classes, from nursery to XII. In about 12 states, Classes VI-XII have reopened. In our survey, we found that 70 per cent of the parents were in favour of reopening schools,” Sisodia said.
On August 16, schools in the city opened for Class X and Class XII students for practical exams-related work.
Sisodia said about 98 per cent teachers of 1,053 government schools in Delhi have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the rate of vaccination is high among private school teachers as well. There are 1,368 private schools in the city recognised by the Directorate of Education.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.