Students of Class 9-12 in Punjab can visit schools on a voluntary basis to seek guidance from their teachers, the Amarinder Singh government on Sunday ordered, in partial modification of the Centre's Unlock4 guidelines. The relaxation will be allowed to students living outside high-risk containment zones.
Students, however, will have to secure written consent of their parents or guardians as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on September 8, 2020.
According to an official spokesperson, the state Home Department has issued detailed instructions to also permit skill or entrepreneurship training in national skill training institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), short term training centers registered with the National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other ministries of the Government of India or state governments.
The activities of National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Developments (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers have also been allowed from September 21, 2020 subject to strict adherence of the COVID-19 norms.
Schools and colleges have been closed since March 22, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to arrest the growth of the coronavirus. Over the months, most of the economic activities have been allowed by the Centre but educational institutions remained shut to prevent transmission of the virus among students.
The central government earlier this month allowed opening of schools for senior students from September 21. It had allowed states to take an independent call regarding this.
The Punjab government on Saturday allowed the opening of colleges for research scholars and postgraduate students pursuing technical and professional courses requiring experimental work.