New Delhi: With educational institutions indefinitely shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is now seeking parents’ opinions on when to reopen schools this year.
In a letter to education secretaries of all states Friday, the ministry directed them to get the feedback of parents on when they would want the schools to reopen and what changes they expect to be introduced in schools.
The letter, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint, asked secretaries to ascertain if parents will be comfortable with reopening schools in August, September or October.
“What is the likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools — August/September/October, 2020 and what are the parents expectations from schools as and when they re-open,” read the letter.
The ministry asked the states to file their responses by 20 July.
The decision to reopen educational institutions will eventually be undertaken only after due permissions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), but the MHRD is taking this feedback so the process can be initiated.
The ministry is also in the process of finalising guidelines for schools to follow once they reopen. These include staggered attendance in schools and calling only senior students.
Parents have been against reopening schools
Parents of schoolgoing children have been for some time opposing reopening of schools during the pandemic, with many starting online petitions against the move.
In June, a group called Parents Association started a petition saying reopening of schools during the time of pandemic will be like “playing with fire”.
A survey conducted in June by LocalCircles —a polling platform on issues of governance, public and consumer interest — revealed that 70 per cent parents want schools to reopen only 21 days after there are zero cases of Covid-19 in the country.
The study noted that many parents were unsure that norms of social distancing will be followed in schools once they reopen.
Schools across the country have been shut since March in the wake of the pandemic.
Most schools are imparting lessons through online classes.