Schools to reopen zone-wise in India in July with 30% attendance, younger students to stay home

NEW DELHI: The Central government is planning on re-opening schools in a zone-wise manner, state reports. The government is planning to reopen schools in the Green and Orange districts first and that too only for older students while students of primary classes (1 to 7) will need to wait till schools are operating in full swing before they join.

As per reports, younger children will be kept at home for now to make sure they remain safe since very young kids cannot be expected to follow strict rules to ensure their own safety. They will continue their studies from home.

The official guidelines for reopening schools in India are likely to be released later this week. A final decision will be made when all related ministries are in agreement.

Since schools have been closed since around March 16, and it’s been more than two months. A prime question on everyone’s mind is When will schools reopen?

As per reports, the approximate date set for reopening schools is sometime in July and schools will reopen with 30% attendance and social distancing norms — possibly in two shifts.

Teachers would need to be trained to follow and help others follow the guidelines and school assemblies won’t be taking place, the reports said.

This news comes around 10 days after HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal hinted about similar measures and spoke about the safety guidelines being worked on for both schools and colleges so they can be reopened soon.

Classes with 30% students when schools reopen


HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had hinted that schools might reopen with just 30% capacity when he went LIVE on Twitter on Thursday, May 14, to interact with teachers and answer their queries regarding education in Covid-19 lockdown.

While answering a question, he hinted that since social distancing would need to be maintained even when schools reopen, classes might need to be held with just 30% students.

“How will a classroom be able to hold 40 students if social distancing is carried out?” HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had asked.

“If social distancing needs to be maintained in a classroom, and if only 30% students are able to come, we need to see what steps need to be taken to bring in a proper system when schools reopen,” Pokhriyal had said.

“The lives of teachers and students are more important right now,” he had said.

UGC, NCERT taskforces framing guidelines for reopening schools and colleges

At the same webinar, Pokhriyal had explained that while UGC was deciding on safety guidelines for reopening colleges and universities, NCERT was doing the same work for schools.

Thus, the guidelines would be different in all three cases.

These guidelines would help reopen schools and colleges in well-informed and researched manner to ensure student and teacher safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the safety guidlines, teachers will need to wear masks and gloves, thermal scanners will be installed in schools, only two students will sit on three-seaters, CCTVs, will observe if social distancing rules are being followed.

Moreover, the guidelines will be printed and put up in several locations in each school and the SDM and DM of each concerned area will further fine-tune the Covid-19 safety guidelines as required.

NCERT has also been asked to create guidelines for academics, and the CBSE syllabus is likely to be further shorted due to time lost because of the pandemic.

States planning to reopen schools, resume exams

Certain states in India are now taking steps to start getting back to normal life by reopening schools with safety guidelines in place amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

As board exams and other exams have been cancelled and postponed for long, there is an urgent need for children to go back to a routine as staying home in lockdown for such a long period can be dam aging for them.

However, it is essential that Covid-19 safety guidelines are maintained as the lives of teachers and students would always be more important than exams.

While CBSE board exams would be held from July 1 to July 15, ICSE/ISC exams will begin from July 1 till July 12.

The number of CBSE exam centres has been increased to ensure social distancing and similar measures have been taken by other states as well.

Moreover, CBSE has ensured that no exam centres will be placed in Red zones or containment zones which are at high Covid-19 risk. It has also asked for board exams to be conducted in students’ own schools rather external exam centres to avoid travelling long distances.

The Kerala board exams or SSC and SSLC exams are starting from May 26 and the state government has listed a few important safety guidelines for the same.[INDIA TODAY]

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