The Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has approved of the schools to reopen from 15th October 2020. Unlock 5 implemented a new set of guidelines on 30th September 2020. It took a crucial decision of further easing the Covid-19 restrictions. The schools did stand closed ever since 21st March but now they are all set to reopen in a graded manner. However, the assessment lies in the hands of the states and union territories.
However, there is a frequently asked question by the concerned parents. “Is it mandatory for schools to reopen from October 15?” This topic of concern popped up when the Ministry of Home Affairs issued the Unlock 5 guidelines.
The Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned it crystal clear that the final say on the reopening lies with the state government and the Union Territories. Hence, states and union territories will play a major role in this procedure and act according to the status of Covid-19 in the state. Consultations are also to be taken from various educational institutions and schools. Assessment of the situation of Covid-19 has to be considered while making decisions. Therefore, the reopening will vary from state to state as deemed fit by them.
Online classes will remain as the preferred mode of study. It would be a wholehearted decision of the parents if they want their children to physically go to schools. Hence, a dual-mode of an online and offline mode of education will be established. Attendance will not be made compulsory and students can attend classes in any manner they prefer.
Gratitude expressed by the Education Minister:
Minister of Education, Dr. RP Nishank extended his gratitude to the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA). He thanked them for allowing the school reopening. In a video message, Dr. Nishank affirmed that the main of the center is to guarantee student’s safety and security amidst the pandemic.
He states that no politics will be involved in education. The health ministry and the home ministry has often extended help and cooperation to the education ministry whenever required. The conductance of a safe JEE and NEET examination is a fruitful outcome of this collaboration. Hence, the maximization of students’ safety is always their primary concern.
Schools to reopen in Uttar Pradesh:
The Yogi led UP government is all set to reopen schools and educational institutions from 15th October 2020. They ensured to follow the newly set Unlock 5 guidelines and planned to resume classes in a graded manner. However, online classes would still be the preferred mode of study.
Mr. Awanish Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary said, “Students who are willing to attend physical classes must get an SOP written by their parents.” He further added that the district administrations will consult the school management on the reopening circumstances.
Ph.D. and research students in UP are also asked to return to the campus and restart the usage labs for experimentations. Hence, unlocking schools will start from 15th October 2020 and students can rejoin on a voluntary basis.
Other states on Schools Reopening:
1. West Bengal – The Mamata Banerjee-led government in WB is not willing to reopen schools until mid-November.
2. Maharashtra – With the rising number of COVID cases, Maharashtra has become the worst COVID hit state. Hence, the government decided to keep the schools shut until the end of this month.
3. Andhra Pradesh – Educational institutions here will not reopen until 2nd November.
4. Karnataka – The BJP ruled government here is yet to take its final decision on school reopening. S. Suresh Kumar, the state minister of primary and secondary education says, “There is no hope of resuming classes in the near future.”
5. Delhi – The government denied the decision of reopening schools and educational institutions. Hence, cinema halls and educational institutions shall stay shut until the last of this month. Vijay Dev, chairperson of the executive committee of Delhi Disaster Management(DDM) authority holds this view.
Therefore, the positive results of school reopening are only shown by the UP government. The rest other states are willing to wait till the month-end due to the increasing number of COVID cases.