August Or September Or...?: Centre Seeks Feedback On School Reopening
The Union education ministry has asked states and union territories for parent's feedback on a likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools.
The Union education ministry has asked states and union territories for parent's feedback on a likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools. A circular sent by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), has also asked for parent’s expectations from schools as and when they reopen.
The education secretaries of all states and union territories have been asked to revert with the feedback by July 20.
“I am directed to refer to the subject matter with a request to furnish feedback of parents of school going children on the following points by 20.07.2020 (Monday) positively:
i. What is the likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools —August / September / October, 2020
ii. What are the parents’ expectations from Schools — as and when they reopen.
iii. Any other feedback / remarks in this regard,” the circular from the HRD ministry said.
Schools and colleges have been shut across the country since March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete shutdown to arrest the spread of the coronavirus. The centre since then has announced several relaxations but has not allowed the opening of educational institutions.
On account of the “extraordinary situation” in India due to the COVID-19 crisis, the government, in the July first week, decided to slash the school syllabus up to 30 per cent for students of classes 9 to 12. The courses will be rationalized to lighten the load while retaining the core concepts, the HRD ministry said.
The HRD ministry has been promoting online education instead of classroom teaching to compensate with the learning hours lost.
Last week, following concerns raised by parents about schools conducting online classes like regular schools, which has increased children's screen time after the COVID-19 pandemic mandated a shift from classroom teaching to online learning as schools continue to remain shut for over four months, the ministry released guidelines for online classes by schools, and recommended a cap on duration and the number of sessions in a day for students.
Online learning may be undertaken for not more than two sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days for classes 1 to 8 while it cannot be more than four sessions of 30-45 minutes each on the days for classes 9 to 12, the education ministry said on Tuesday.