According to a media report, the Centre might soon unveil a phase-wise plan to reopen schools and educational institutes across the country. 

Since the beginning of the phase-wise upliftment of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, a question mark has been doing rounds on re-opening of schools and colleges in India. All education institutions were closed across the country after the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the dreadful coronavirus, which is caused by SARS‑CoV‑2. 

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The schools and educational institutes across the country are closed since March 23, when the first lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic was put in-place. Ever since, the teaching and learning activities are relying on online modes, whose success has been limited because of the uneven availability of smart-devices, specifically in the country’s hinterland.

As far as the re-opening is concerned, the specifics of the plan have been formulated by the group of secretaries associated with the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 management, which is being headed by Health Minister and Member of Parliament from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, Dr Harsh Vardhan.

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According to the media report, the Central government will simply issue Broad Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) as for the opening of schools and educational institutions, with the final decision left to the respective state governments so as to decide when and how to restart the classroom teaching.

In addition to this, a great emphasis on the sanitization of the classrooms remains the biggest highlight of the Centre’s formulation. Schools will be told to work in shifts – 8 to 11 AM and 12 to 3 PM – with an hour left for the sanitization. So far there is no plan to bring the primary and pre-primary students back to the classrooms, and they will continue to be taught via online modes. 

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Furthermore, it suggests that for the first fifteen days of the opening of schools, Class 10 and Class 12 students will be asked and guided to attend the school. Afterwards, the students of Class 6 to 9 will be brought back to the classrooms with restricted hours. 

However, all sections of one class will not attend the school on the same day. Different sections of a class will have specific days assigned as for attending the schools.

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The government officials have studied the countries such as Switzerland which have brought back the students to classrooms, and the formulation has been designed on similar lines as for the classroom teaching of Indian students.

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