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Only UP is ready to reopen schools, other big states delay move until October-end

In ‘Unlock 5’ guidelines, home ministry has left it up to individual states & UTs to decide on re-opening schools & colleges from 15 October.

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New Delhi: In the new guidelines for ‘Unlock 5’ released Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed the re-opening of schools and colleges from 15 October, but left the final decision up to individual states and union territories.

As a result, many big states have decided to keep schools shut until at least the end of the month, given the rising Covid-19 numbers across India, with only Uttar Pradesh opting for a phased re-opening beginning 15 October.

The decision to re-open schools and education institutions needs to be taken with the consent of parents/guardians, according to the 8 September Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines. The health ministry has already shared a detailed list of operating procedures with states and UTs, but states have been allowed to come up with their own guidelines as well to suit local requirements.

Meanwhile, on the re-opening of colleges, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said Thursday that his ministry’s Department of Higher Education may take a decision in consultation with home ministry, based on the assessment of the situation.

Also read: 71% parents won’t send kids to school in October, 34% want reopening pushed to 2021 — survey

UP allows phased re-opening

The Uttar Pradesh government, in a notification issued Thursday, allowed the opening of schools in a phased manner, while maintaining consultation with various stakeholders and due permission from parents.

For the re-opening of colleges, the government notification states that Ministry of Education guidelines should be followed.

The state has, however, allowed Ph.D. and research students to return to campus for using labs and other research facilities from 15 October onwards.

Other states & UTs delay re-opening

While West Bengal has delayed the decision to re-open schools till mid-November, Maharashtra — which recorded the highest number of new cases in India Tuesday — has decided to not re-open any institution till at least 31 October.

In an official notification dated 30 September, the Maharashtra government has kept re-opening of schools, colleges and education activities under the list of prohibited activities till 31 October. “Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31 October 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue be permitted and shall be encouraged,” the circular said.

Andhra Pradesh, another high-burden state, has also decided to defer the re-opening of schools till 2 November. The state had 59,435 active Covid-19 cases as of Wednesday, of which 6,190 cases and 35 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Karnataka, which has over one lakh active Covid-19 cases, has not yet taken a decision on the re-opening of schools. Addressing reporters in the state Tuesday, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, S. Suresh Kumar, had said: “Let there be no panic. The state government has not yet taken a call on reopening the schools. There is no thought on starting them in the near future.”

The state government, however, has released a set of SOPs for when the schools re-open. The SOPs include holding the classes in shifts wherever the strength of students is high, maintaining distance between students through appropriate markings, sanitising schools daily, and restricting sports activities.

The Delhi government, which had earlier decided to keep schools closed until 5 October, has pushed the date back to 31 October. In a notification released Wednesday, the government said that “status quo” for all prohibited activities in Delhi shall remain until 31 October.

The states and UT that had, earlier in September, decided to allow students to come in to seek guidance from teachers — Assam, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir — are undecided on whether they should fully re-open the schools from 15 October.

However, some of them are undecided on whether to fully re-open schools or not. J. Ganesan, Haryana’s director of secondary education, told ThePrint that things are “still at preparation stage”.

Sources in the J&K government also told ThePrint that no decision has been taken on the matter.

(With inputs from Madhuparna Das, Manasi Phadke, Rohini Swamy, Aneesha Bedi and Azaan Javaid)

Also read: No correlation between schools reopening and surge in Covid cases, new study says


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  1. Pls don’t open school and college because of covid case children’s life is crucial and there are many asymatamatic patients it’s risky.

  2. If central or states government takes the decision of reopening School/ colleges then no doubt it will be very dangerous for students guardians and society too. Because we better Know it’s not possible for any school or students to follow the directed guidelines strictly…. So In that Condition I can say India will become second Italy. and we have to prepared ourselves for losses No’s of huge lives. So, before taking this decision government should be imagine deeply the after effects of their decision because they will be fully responsible for the worsened condition.

  3. सारी जिम्मेदारी पेरेंट्स की होगी ये डिसिशन अच्छा है

  4. Open the schools, Please. Because there is a lot of issues in our study……….. We are so worried and sad.

  5. Please don’t reopen school,college and institute until and unless the cases stop to increase and cases to in our control. If might it reopen the parent will not allowed the student or child to go. So the student who are not allowed will face the difficulty like missing lecture and notes and the same thingn not be teach the student.

  6. Its high time government should allow the higher technical educations to reopen at least for the ones who are in the last year of their course ..this will someway reduce the stress of placements and career …

    • You must be very naive to make such a statement. Think about the family members of such students, just in case if even one of them contracts covid, then will you take the responsibility of their families? Or will government come ahead to relieve these people of their high costing treatment? No. You’ll say oh, sorry for your loss. If someone loves their family, they’d never risk going out, let alone colleges. Placement bro, aaj ni to kal mil jaegi, guilt wont leave you if because of you, your family members have to go through something like this.

      • Your username is “someonewhofoughtcorona”. Well dude, you’re pretty careless I guess that’s why you had a contact with the virus. You broke every single code of sanitation and stuff. So stop talking bs and chill bruh.

  7. plese open college and university as we are facing many issues in our studies ….so i request you to please open university ….there is one more reason to open colleges and university because we are crossing are job required age with delay to open university ….so i request you to please open colleges

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