Punjab school reopening date to be out soon; education dept submits SOPs

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New Delhi | October 15, 2020 10:01 AM

In its Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued on September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs laid down rules for reopening of schools across India.

Schools in Punjab are set to reopen! Punjab government has decided to reopen schools, said Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of schools have been prepared and sent to the state health department for approval. The date of the reopening of schools will be announced once the state health department grants its approval for the SOPs, Singla has said.

Punjab’s neighboring state of Haryana has decided to partially reopen schools from September 21. In Gurugram, students of Class 9 to 12 can join classes from October 15. In Uttar Pradesh, schools are scheduled to reopen from October 19. Delhi is yet to announce the date for the reopening of schools.

In its Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued on September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs laid down rules for reopening of schools across India. “For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State or UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after 15th October 2020, in a graded manner,” the Unlock 5.0 guidelines read.

However, the central government said that the decision must be taken in consultation with the respective school or institution management, based on the assessment of the situation. The Unlock 5.0 guidelines also mentioned that online or distance learning must continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and must be encouraged.

Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so. Students may attend schools or institutions only with the written consent of parents, the Unlock 5.0 stated. The central government categorically mentioned that attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.

States and UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for the reopening of schools or institutions. Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs, said the Unlock 5.0 guidelines

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