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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Schools reopening: Here’s what states have outlined, discussions underway to adopt best strategies

Schools across the country have started reopening in a phased manner. Some states have already started offline classes for all classes while others are still figuring out the most suitable strategy. Here's what states are up to:

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 28, 2021 10:08:53 am
While some parents are supportive of their children going back to classes, others think it's still risky for children to be attending schools at this point. File/ representational image

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said more than two crore additional COVID-19 vaccine doses are being made available to states this month and they have been asked to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before teachers’ day on September 5.

“In addition to the plan to provide vaccines to every state this month, more than 2 crore vaccine doses are being made available. We have requested all states to try to vaccinate all school teachers on priority before Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated on September 5,” Mandaviya said in a tweet in Hindi.

Schools across the country have started reopening in a phased manner. Some states have already started offline classes for all classes while others are still figuring out the most suitable strategy. Here’s what states are up to:

Delhi

An expert committee set up by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has recommended a phase-wise reopening of schools in the national capital, according to sources. Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia said that the schools will reopen for students of classes 9-12.

During a press conference today, Sisodia said that all the schools for students of class 9-12, coaching centres, colleges and universities can start functioning from September 1 onwards. Educational institutes will have to adhere to Covid protocols. The decision on reopening schools for class 6-8 will be taken after reviewing the situation after September 1.

Haryana

The Haryana government has decided to reopen primary schools for classes 4 and 5 from September 1, Education Minister Kanwar Pal said on Wednesday. Students will be allowed to come to the school with the prior written permission of their parents, he said in an official statement.

Over a month ago, schools in Haryana were reopened for classes 9 to 12. Later, students of classes 6 to 8 were allowed to attend school. However, it has not made it mandatory for students to come to school as online classes are also continuing.

As per the guidelines issued, only one student is allowed to sit on a desk and sharing of food or stationery items is prohibited. A gap of at least six feet has to be maintained between two students and desks will bear name tags of students where they have to sit, according to the guidelines.

Gujarat

The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced that schools for classes 6 to 8 will reopen from September 2 with 50 per cent capacity. The decision on resuming physical lectures for classes 6 to 8 in schools was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in a cabinet meeting.

Though schools in the state have been permitted to resume classes from their premises, the ongoing system of online lessons for these classes will also continue, the minister said. Around 32 lakh students are currently studying in classes 6 to 8 in the state.

“All the SOPs announced in July for Classes 9 to 11 will also apply for classes 6 to 8. All students, teachers and staff need to wear masks and maintain social distancing. School managements need to keep sanitisers and hand wash in their premises,” Chudasama said.

Odisha

The Odisha government has decided to resume physical classes for standard 9 students in special schools across the state following a decline in COVID-19 cases. The government has already allowed the resumption of classroom teaching in schools across the state for students of class 9.

The Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) has asked collectors of 10 districts to reopen class 9 in Special Schools and hostels for students.

SSEPD Director Bratati Harichandan — in a letter to the District Collectors of Balasore, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Keonjhar, Puri, Kandhamal, Sundargarh and Khurda — suggested reopening schools for the physically challenged students of class 9 and reopening hostels.

Earlier, the School and Mass Education Department had directed to reopen classroom teaching for class 9 students from August 16 with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Rajasthan

Opening after a gap of almost five months, schools in Rajasthan have been asked to hold yoga activities for students’ mental health and stagger their timings to ensure minimal physical interaction. The suggestions are part of a standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the director of secondary education on Wednesday.

Private and government schools will be opening for the first time since April for students of classes 9-12 on September 1. As per the SOP, schools have been instructed to keep separate timings for the arrival and departure of students of different classes so that there is no gathering of all the students at the same time.

For schools running in one shift, students of classes 9 and 11 will enter at 7.30 am and leave at 12.30 pm, while for those in classes 10 and 12, the entry and exit time will be 8 am and 1 pm, respectively. In two-shift schools, students of classes 9 and 11 will enter at 12.30 pm and leave by 5.30 pm, while the timing for students of classes 10 and 12 will be 1 pm and 6 pm, respectively.

Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government is considering reopening schools for classes 6 to 8 from next month, a state minister said on Thursday. The government had earlier reopened schools for Classes 9 to 12 across the state in the last week of July with a 50 per cent cap on attendance. But these classes are being held only on specific days a week.

Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Inder Singh Parmar said, “We have made up our mind to reopen from next month the middle schools (classes 6 to 8), which have remained shut due to coronavirus. But we are extra cautious to take a call on it in view of the pandemic.”

At least 45,000 private schools affiliated to the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education have announced to stage sit-in protests across the state from September 2 to demand reopening of schools for all classes in compliance with the COVID-19 norms.

Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti 

Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti has decided to re-open the JNVs in a phased manner for classes 9 to 12. As per the notification of States/UTs which have permitted re-opening of schools by following approved SOPs, JNVs will be reopened with 50 per cent capacity.  

Students will be permitted to attend the classes and stay in the hostel, only with parents’ consent.  The provision of online education will also continue.  The arrangement is also in place for providing support to ensure the mental and physical health and well-being of students through proper counseling. 

Assam

Physical classes for Class 12, final-year degree and postgraduation courses will begin from the first week of September in Assam with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, officials said on Thursday. During a meeting of the Assam Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, it was decided that the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for attending the classes.

“The cabinet decided to start classes for HS final, Degree final and PG final year from 1st week of September 2021,” a communique from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said. — With inputs from PTI 

 

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