Schools Reopening Update for Class 8 to 12

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Schools Reopening Update for Class 8 to 12

INDIA: Two days after releasing and immediately deleting a government resolution (GR) directing reopening of schools for classes 8 to 12 in no-covid zones, the state school education department released an updated government resolution on Wednesday. As per this GR, schools in zones with not a single Covid-19 case will be allowed to restart physical classes for students from classes 8-12, after receiving consent of parents.

The GR further specifies the formation of an eight-member committee consisting of local collectors, school principals and health officials to decide on Covid-free zones. In rural areas, this committee will be headed by the head of the gram panchayat to decide which school can be allowed to start physical classes. Similarly, each district will form the said committee and schools will need a go-ahead from the committee before reopening, states the GR.

“Due to the lockdown, children from across the state have been holed up in their houses and missed out on quality education. Their education is limited to what they learn online which is leading to other trouble like addiction to screen time and even depression in some cases. Drop out rate has also increased in rural parts and the only solution for this is reopening of schools in a phased manner,” said the GR.

It further stated that schools and junior colleges will follow basic standard operating procedure (SOP) and maintain social distancing and regular temperature check of students when on campus. “Schools need to ensure that not more than 20 students should be seated in a class to ensure proper social distancing rules is followed,” adds the GR.

In November last year, the school education department had released a similar circular announcing re-opening of schools for classes 9 to 12 in a phased manner.

While, The Maharashtra government has come up with a decision to reopen schools in areas where not even a single case of COVID-19 has been reported over the last month. Minister of School Education Department Varsha Gaikwad informed that the schools have been allowed to resume offline classes for students from Classes 8 to 12 starting July 15.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also announced the information regarding the reopening of schools and colleges on Twitter recently. With a steady decline in the cases of Covid-19 in Bihar, the state government has decided that universities, colleges, and schools for Classes 11 and 12 will reopen from next week with several Covid-19 safety measures put into place.

Wipro’s billionaire promoter Azim Premji said schools in India should be opened after vaccinating all teachers quickly as the loss of the last one and a half years is too big to ignore for school-going children.

“One needs time to recover the loss of learning. If you keep promoting children to the next class, you are creating an enormous deficit that cannot be filled up,” he said at an event organised by the Bombay Chartered Accountants Society.

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