This Article is From Sep 08, 2020

After 5 Months, School Allowed, But Not Mandatory, For Senior Students

Coronavirus: In a tweet, the Home Ministry said the move to reopen schools for Classes 9 to 12 voluntarily is to enable students to take "guidance from their teachers"

After 5 Months, School Allowed, But Not Mandatory, For Senior Students

Coronavirus: Schools can reopen for Classes 9 to 12 voluntarily amid COVID-19

New Delhi:

Partial opening of schools will be allowed but only on voluntary basis from September 21, the government said today, more than five months after they had shut in view of the coronavirus outbreak. This, however, will be applicable only to older students who belong to Class 9 and above, the government said. The final decision has been left to the parents, who will have to provide a written permission for wards going to school.

There is no word no opening schools for younger students. Children below the age of 10 are among the population particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

A detailed guideline the government issued today said it encourages online classes, but older students "will be permitted to visit schools on voluntary basis".

Such visits, the government said, will have to be arranged in a staggered manner, as maintaining 6-feet distance between students in class rooms will be mandatory. Physical distancing will also have to be maintained in staff rooms, office area, cafeterias, libraries and other places.  

The other safety measures would include the use of masks, sanitisers, frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

For now, the presence of only 50 per cent teaching and non-teaching staff will be allowed, the government has said.

Schools have been abruptly shut through February and March as the central and state governments prepared to meet the challenge of the coronavirus ahead of the countrywide lockdown.

The government had even scrapped the board exams this year after the lockdown was announced, asking schools to conduct internal evaluation.

Since May, though the lifting of restrictions started in phases, schools have been off every list so far in view of the safety of students.

This month, the government started conducting competitive entrance exams for medical and engineering courses after the Supreme Court pointed out that the future of the students should not be jeopardized.

The exams have been on with full safety measures, in face of strong opposition from a section of states and political parties.