Education

Final guidelines on reopening of schools awaiting approval

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Union School Education Secretary Anita Karwal convened a meeting of all State Education Secretaries on Monday “to discuss the health and safety of students, hygiene measures in schools, and issues regarding online/digital learning in their States”, according to Mr. Nishank’s tweet.

Final guidelines on the reopening of schools and the use of digital education are awaiting approval from the Health and Home Ministries, after consultations on the issue were held with State governments on Monday. Tweeting about the meeting, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank emphasised that the safety of students and teachers was the top priority.

Phased reopening of schools from July 1 proposed

This comes amidst speculation about school reopening dates and widespread demands for the postponement or cancellation of Central and State board examinations scheduled to be held in June and July, even as coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to shoot up in major cities. Mr. Nishank has previously indicated schools will not reopen until August.

States to decide on reopening of schools

Union School Education Secretary Anita Karwal convened a meeting of all State Education Secretaries on Monday “to discuss the health and safety of students, hygiene measures in schools, and issues regarding online/digital learning in their States”, according to Mr. Nishank’s tweet.

“Obtained valuable suggestions from State governments regarding issues related to school education. Our priority has always been the safety and security of students and teachers,” he added, after the meeting. “The suggestions received will be examined and sent to the [Ministry of Health and Family Welfare] and Ministry of Home Affairs for appropriate actions regarding framing guidelines for the education sector during COVID-19 times.”

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On Friday, Ms. Karwal had said that while the Centre was framing guidelines for safe reopening of schools, States would take the final decision on reopening dates depending on local conditions. Guidelines are likely to include rigorous health screening and quarantine protocols, hygiene measures, and staggered attendance for students allowing for blended learning from classrooms and home.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:36:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/final-guidelines-on-reopening-of-schools-awaiting-approval/article31782161.ece

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