Schools not closed till December, Centre issues clarification
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 15, 2020, 03:16 pm
The Centre has issued a clarification after a news report stating that schools would be closed till December starting doing the rounds. In their statement, the government agency said that the "Centre has not made any such decision" as yet. Education Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal also stated that schools will reopen after a discussion with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs once the situation is conducive around the country in view of the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
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With schools closed since mid-March, several state governments including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa are as per latest reports considering issuing orders for their reopening. Having said that, a majority of the parents are still concerned about sending their children to schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A major section of them have requested for a reduction in the syllabus and online classes to continue further. On the other hand, students from downtrodden and poor families are finding it hard to access online educational tools.
The new 'normal' of wearing masks and the use of sanitisers will be a must once schools reopen, whenever they do. The Union Cabinet Minister for Education also stated that seating arrangements will be modified once schools are reopened along with a change in timings including the division of classes into different sections being considered as the important measures to be taken next.
Schools will be reopened in a phased manner where students from Classes 9 to 12 will be called first. Ministry officials state that students in Classes 1 to 5, in the age group of 6 to 10 years, are less likely to be called back to enter their classrooms anytime soon in the days ahead. As of now, classes are being held online for students of all grades. The Ministry of Education recently ruled out declaring 2020-21 as a "zero academic year" despite the coronavirus pandemic.