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When are schools re-opening? Here’s what we know so far

School Re-opening: States like Assam, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa are considering re-opening schools in September, but this will not mean a complete resumption of the previous system. The new normal will include open classes, staggered entry and alternative day classes among other measures.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 9, 2020 10:59:43 pm
When are schools re-opening? States like Assam, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa is planning to re-open schools in September. Representational image/ file

It’s been over four months since the government announced lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic and schools were shut as a consequence. As of now, students, their guardians as well as teachers are anxious to know when ‘normal’ classes will resume given that there has been a dip in the number of COVID-19 cases in some states, including New Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said earlier that the schools will open keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

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Several parents’ associations have opposed the state government’s move to re-open schools in the academic year 2020-21 in view of safety considerations for their wards. In a letter to the HRD minister last month, the Delhi Parents’ Association wrote, “The order to shut all schools…had been made on March 16 when the number of infected cases were in the hundreds. Now, it has crossed 10 lakh cases… To deliberate upon reopening schools in this situation is in itself laughable.” The parents’ association also suggested conducting the board exams online next year.

States such as Assam, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Goa are considering re-opening schools in September. However, this will not mean a complete resumption of the previous system. The new normal will include open classes, staggered entry, alternative day classes and other such measures.

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The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to re-open schools from September 5. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed the officials to get ready for reopening of school, but the directive came with a rider: “Hopefully the situation will be normal by then.”

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West Bengal is also thinking of re-opening schools and colleges from September 5, when Teachers’ Day is observed. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee noted that if the situation improves after August 31, they will surely reopen schools and colleges in September.

For Assam, re-opening can be from September 1. Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the proposal includes holding Classes 5 to 8 in the open and Classes 9 to 12 in a staggered manner. Goa is also expected to start the new academic session from September this year.

Meanwhile, other states, including the national capital, are expected to open schools and colleges later this year, following the decline in COVID-19 cases.

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