After lifting most of the lockdown restrictions, Haryana has now decided to re-open in phases the schools in July and the colleges and universities in August, state Education Minister Kanwar Pal Wednesday said. It has been proposed to call the students of classes 10, 11 and 12 in shifts to the schools in the first phase. A mandatory Covid-19 testing of all the students and teachers, as the schools open, is also being contemplated. The minister, however, didn’t announce any dateline.
“We have got the guidelines from Union government regarding resuming of teaching activity in schools. The decision (to reopen schools) has been taken accordingly. We will open our schools from July,” said Kanwar Pal.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its Unlock 1.0 guidelines had said that schools, colleges, training institutes, and coaching institutes can reopen in Phase II of lockdown 5.0, with the state governments’ approval. “State governments/UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020,” the MHA had said.
Explaining state’s plan, the minister said, “Once the first phase is implemented for the three senior classes, then in the second phase we will resume teaching activity for classes 6, 7, 8 and 9 while students of classes 1 to 5 will be called to schools in the third and last phase”.
To maintain social distancing norms in the classes, the government was exploring two options. “In the first phase, we can either have classes in two shifts — morning and evening — with 50 per cent student attendance in each shift, or we can hold classes on alternate basis. For instance, if there are 30 students in a class, 15 can be called one day and the other 15 the following day. We have begun preparations and are also going to hold a demonstration in a few schools in the coming days. We will first check both the options and whichever suits more will be made applicable. This will also enable us to realize what all safeguards we need to adopt,” the minister said.
Kanwal Pal said the government would prefer start the teaching work from July 1, but didn’t announce any date-wise schedule for reopening the schools.
For colleges and universities, he said all classes, except those of the first year graduation students, will resume from August. The classes for first year students will resume in September.
Kanwar Pal also announced that Class 10 Board exam results will be declared on June 8.
“One written examination of a science subject could not be held due to the lockdown. The practical examination bearing 40 marks had already been held. We will declare the result by granting the students average marks,” he said. .
However, students who wish to opt for science stream in class 11 onwards or want to opt for some science related diploma course or ITI, will have to appear for their science subject examination, he added.
Haryana Directorate of School Education also issued a circular to all the District Education Officers (DEOs) asking them to hold meetings with school managements and frame district-wise guidelines for reopening the educational institutions. The DEOs have been asked to submit their suggestions and recommendations by June 7 and the same will be forwarded to MHRD, Government of India before implementing the final plan from July onwards.
The DEOs have been asked to formulate strategy on 13 points. These include “required changes to ensure physical distancing; changes to enable health and sanitization protocols in schools; changes to create health buildings and sanitization; changes to transportation forms; routes and sanitization procedures; changes in mid-day meals and food service to reduce cross contamination; scheduling adaptations that reduce number of students on campus at any time; enhanced cleaning and sanitization; discussion to take child from home to school and back; contact tracing; emergency and disease management; compulsory Covid-19 testing of teachers and students; plan for continuity of distance learning; addressing mental health issues and expectations from the students and parents”.
Pending class 10th and 12th exams from July 1 – 15
Haryana School Education Board has decided to hold pending examinations of class 10 and 12 from July 1 till 15th. Board chairman Dr Jagbir Singh said, “Examinations of classes 10 and 12 that were postponed due to coronavirus pandemic will now be held from July 1 till 15th. The board has begun preparations for conducting the examinations, next month. The schedule of examinations and datesheet will be released in the coming few days”.
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