As lockdown restrictions are being lifted, schools in various states are set to reopen from January as per guidelines issued by the government. Most states have approved opening of schools only for students appearing for the board exams (class 9 to 12).
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and some districts of Maharashtra have allowed class for 9th to 12th standards. Schools in Madhya Pradesh will commence for class 1st to 8th on April 1, 2021. The government has directed all schools to follow the standard operating protocols. Under the unlock 5 guidelines, the schools were allowed to reopen from October 15. However, it was left to states/UTs to decide as to when they would open physical classes.
Here is the list of states to reopen schools from January
Karnataka: The schools in the state will reopen for classes 10th and 12th from January 1. State Education Minister S Suresh Kumar recently announced that students will have to get written permission from their parents to attend classes. The minister also mentioned that the Vidyagama programme for classes 6 to 9 will also commence next month. The colleges in the state were reopened on November 17.
Bihar: The Bihar Education Department directed all university vice-chancellors, district magistrates and district education officers to restart offline lessons for students from classes 9 to 12 from January 4 with 50 per cent capacity in classrooms. All higher educational institutions, private coaching centres and engineering colleges have been asked to adhere to the directive.
Assam: The schools in Assam for junior classes (nursery to class 6) will reopen from January 1. Meanwhile, the classes from standard sixth onward were started from November 2 on a voluntary and shift basis. The students of classes 8, 10 and 11 are having their classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, whereas students of standard 6, 7, 9 and 12 have their classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The colleges and other educational institutions also commenced on November 2.
Tripura: The schools in Tripura had begun for classes 9 and 11 from December 28. The classes for students of 5th to 8th standards will resume from January 4. However, no decision has been taken for classes 1 to 4. Earlier on December 7, the state government reopened school for students of classes 10 and 12 in view of their board exams that are likely to be conducted from May 10.
The students who will attend schools have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines and precautions.
Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation will reopen its schools on January 4 for students of classes 9 to 12. Schools also gave instructions to teaching and non-teaching staff to attend from December 28. The implementation of the SOP issued by the state government on November 20 will be mandatory for schools.
Mumbai: The schools, colleges in Mumbai will not reopen till January 15. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in a fresh circular, said it decided to keep all government and private schools and colleges closed till January 15 due to the second wave of COVID-19. Earlier, BMC had decided to keep schools and colleges closed till December 31.
Puducherry: Puducherry will reopen its schools from January 4. The schools will have half-day classes from 10 am to 1 pm, while full-day classes from January 18. The schools will follow all important guidelines, SOPs on COVID-19, Education Minister R Kamalakannan said.
No signs of reopening
There were several states which have reopened their schools earlier but were forced to close as students, teachers or staff members got infected by COVID-19. The Haryana government reportedly ordered the closure of all schools in November after 150 students tested coronavirus positive. The schools were reopened for classes 10 and 12 from December 14, while for classes 9 and 11 from December 21.
In Uttarakhand too, the schools were closed after 80 teachers tested positive for COVID-19. The schools were resumed on November 2 before it was closed. The state government has yet not decided on the reopening of schools and board exams. While in Andhra Pradesh, following the reopening of schools on November 2, 575 students, 829 teachers were infected with COVID-19. However, the schools were continued for classes 9 to 12.
Most of the states, including the national capital Delhi are yet to decide on the reopening of schools.
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