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SCHOOLS TO REOPEN FROM 1 JULY, FOR HIGHER CLASSES

New Delhi:  On Monday evening the central government announced that- Schools might reopen by July in a zone-wise manner, starting from Green and Orange districts all over the nation. Classes will initially begin for older students as those in primary classes will have to wait for the pandemic situation to normalize again.

The NCERT, in its draft recommendations submitted to the ministry, has said that the schools can reopen for class 8 to class 12 after the summer vacations in green and orange zone districts. 

The council has also suggested that one-third of students can be allowed in every class on a given day so that physical distance between students can be ensured.

However, younger children are more at risk of being infected by the infected coronavirus as their immunity levels are weak. The decision to keep them away from schools has been taken to ensure their safety as they cannot be expected to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines themselves fully.

Once it reopens after COVID-19 situation comes under control, regular classes are likely to begin for students in Class 8-12. In contrast, the remaining classes will continue to be held online.

Schools have been shut since around March 16, a week before the lockdown was announced, shutting down all economic and social activities around the nation.

Earlier this month, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had discussed with school teachers across the nation where he had said that classrooms might reopen with only 30 per cent attendance.

As per the reports, A systematic approach for the same is being worked out by the UGC for colleges and NCERT for schools so that the academic sector resumes with all safety guidelines intact.

“Depending on how it pans out, educational institutions in other parts can then also be gradually opened at least for older children,” said an NCERT official.

“We are suggesting the government not to let young children in primary and upper primary classes get into schools till things normalize,” he added.

“It is not practical to expect young children to diligently wear face cover all the time, maintain hand hygiene or physical distancing norms diligently.”

The council has also suggested having an online training programme for teachers before the reopening of the schools so that they are sensitized properly on all precautions and safety measures that would need to be taken to be enforced in the changed scenario.

Meanwhile, officials in the school education and literacy department of the HRD ministry said an internal discussion on the recommendations by the NCERT in on but a final advisory for states would be issued only after getting a go ahead with the health ministry and the ministry of home affairs.

“Also, our guidelines will be advisory in nature and states can decide their own protocols based on their risk assessment and preparedness,” said an official.

 The board examinations for remaining papers will commence from July 1 and conclude on July 15, 2020. The number of centres, which used to be nearly 15,000 in order to ensure greater physical distancing between students at all times.

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