With Unlock 4 underway, and Center’s issuance SOP for Schools’ reopening, states remain undecided

The partial reopening of schools was allowed by the Center with effect from September 21. The classes that are sanctioned for reopening are 9 to 12. An SOP pertaining to the said reopening has been issued under the Unlock 4 guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The SOP has sanctioned the presence of 50 percent of the teaching and non-teaching staff at a time in the schools for distance teaching and tele-counseling and related activities.

The SOP, however, bars the students of classes 9-12 from the containment zones from visiting schools. The visit to the schools will not be mandatory and will be completely voluntary. The students are also expected to have written consent from their parents allowing them to visit the school. the visits to the school are allowed to enable students to receive guidance from their teachers.

The reopening of schools is subject to the policy and regulations of the state governments. Notably, certain states have decided against the reopening.

We are presenting a state-wise scenario, highlighting the specifics of the state policies regarding the reopening of the schools.

The state of Assam has ordered its schools to remain closed until Sep 30. The students of class 9-12 have been allowed to visit their respective schools voluntarily, with parental consent. The Delhi school reopening scenario is marked by fits and starts. The government was among the first in the country to allow partial reopening of schools (9-12) from Sep 5. However, amid the growing fear of the second wave, the allowance was rescinded and schools were again closed till Oct 5. Delhi Directorate of School Education, in a notification, said that the teachers and support staff can be called to the schools by the Heads to facilitate online classes.

In the case of Goa, the CM had ordered the schools to not reopen until October 2. The Government will assess the situation and consult with the stakeholders before deciding on the reopening of schools. Moreover, it’s likely that the schools in Goa will see a staggered reopening, starting with the senior classes.

As per the recent reports, the state of Gujarat has decided to keep its schools shut indefinitely. The government has cited the non-binding nature of the SOPs of the center and the allowance for reopening of schools from Sep 21 and decided to err on the side of caution.

The Himalayan state, Himachal Pradesh, has decided to reopen schools for classes 9-12 from Sep 21. The state cabinet, in a decision predating the center’s SOP, has said that the schools will be allowed to reopen with 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff and the students of senior classes will be allowed into the schools if they decide to do so voluntarily.

Karnataka government, as per the recent reports, has not allowed the schools and PUCs to reopen. Earlier, however, the state seemed to come around the idea of reopening schools for 9-12 students, it was soon decided against, however.

The North-Eastern state, Nagaland, has consented to the reopening of schools, for classes 9-12, from Sep 21. The staff members living outside the containment zones are allowed into, in 50 percent strength.

Odisha has decided to keep all schools and colleges closed until after the festival of Durga Puja.

Tamil Nadu has not yet given a date for reopening of schools, however the Education Minister has been reported saying that the schools will open simultaneously rather than in phases, once the situation is contained fairly.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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