The schools and higher educational institutions across India will remain closed for another 19 days according to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Wednesday for the second phase of the nationwide lockdown.
The union government, however, has asked educational institutions to “maintain the academic calendar through online teaching”. India had announced a countrywide classroom shutdown on March 16 as one of the measures to contain the outbreak.
As reported by The Indian Express on April 12, to cope with the current learning disruption, the HRD Ministry has been asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll out a common learning platform for students of class I up to postgraduation.
Currently, schools run by the union government have asked students to follow lessons on NIOS educational channels on the SWAYAM PRABHA platforms, which are also being telecast by private DTH providers. Higher education institutions, on the other hand, are imparting lessons in the online mode through live lectures and online resource material.
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The extension of classroom shutdown is set to affect the calendar of all major entrance examinations, especially NEET, which is held in pen-and-paper mode. National Testing Agency (NTA) has already postponed all entrance tests — JEE (Advanced), JEE (Main), NEET, UGC-NET, CSIR UGC-NET and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) AIEEA — that were scheduled to be held in April, May and June.
NTA has announced that it will hold JEE (Main) in the last week of May.
According to sources, the fresh extension is likely to delay JEE (Main) till mid-June. The delay in entrance tests is also expected to push the start of the new academic session by a month at least.
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