Several states set to reopen schools, Kerala to wait and watch COVID-19 scenario

Students being welcomed at Government Girls Senior Secondary Smart School after it reopened, following relaxation in COVID-19 norms in Patiala. PTI

New Delhi: Several States are set to reopen schools and higher educational institutions even as the Kerala Government has decided not to act in haste considering the high number of COVID-19 cases still being reported.

In Delhi, permission has been given for class 10 and 12 students to go to schools for clearing doubts and for practical classes. But the Delhi University, which had announced that it would be opened for science students from August 16, later withdrew the order.

Offline classes are already on in all States, including Kerala. Some States have decided to reopen the educational institutions by mid-August. Directives have been given to resume classes with 50 per cent of the total students.

Schools following the Kerala government syllabus in Lakshadweep, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will reopen from August 9, August 23 and September 1, respectively.

"The discussions are moving towards reopening of schools. The idea is to facilitate the return of at least half the number of students. The final decision would be taken after taking into account the central government's stand, the situation in other states, vaccination and the spread of COVID-19. The majority of the teachers are in favour of opening the schools," Kerala Education Minister stated on Monday.

States can take a call on reopening the education institutions that were shut in the wake of the Covid pandemic, Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan meanwhile informed the Lok Sabha. The guidelines in this regard were issued last year itself, he added.

The Union Minister said this in reply to the queries of Shashi Tharoor and T N Prathapan.

Situation in Other States

Tamil Nadu: Classes for students from 9th standard to plus-two will resume on September 1. Nursing and medical educational institutions will reopen on August 16.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin arrived at this decision after reviewing the Covid situation with medical experts in light of a marginal rise in cases. Medical experts expressed the need to re-open the schools as the students were experiencing mental pressure since they were confined to their homes for months.

This was also creating "learning gaps" in society, the Chief Minister said in a statement. Further, many children have no access to online education, he said. Students and teachers of these institutions have been already inoculated with Covid vaccines, the CM said.

Karnataka: Higher educational institutions reopened on July 26. Those who have taken at least one dose vaccine have been permitted to attend the classes. Classes 9 to 12 will resume on August 23 with 50 per cent students.

"We have decided to reopen schools in two stages. In the first stage, Classes 9 to 12 will start from August 23," Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

There are certain conditions for opening schools, as per which classes will be held in batches on alternate days and details will be given in the order, the CM added. A decision on reopening primary and secondary classes up to Class 8 will be taken August-end, after taking into account the possibility of a third wave and the intensity of COVID infections, Bommai further clarified.

Maharashtra: In areas with fewer Covid cases, schools will reopen from August 17. Nod to resume Classes 9 and 10 in villages was given earlier itself.

Punjab: Classes 10 and 12 resumed on July 26, while Classes 9 and 11 began on August 2.

Chhattisgarh: Classes 10 and 12 resumed from August 2. Fifty per cent of the students will be allowed to attend.

Haryana: Classes 9 to 12 resumed on July 16 and Classes 6 to 8 on July 23.

Uttar Pradesh: Classes 10 to 12 will be resumed on August 16. And colleges will be reopened on September 1.

Odisha: Classes 10 and 12 reopened on July 26. Class 9 will resume on July 16 and Class 11 on September 15.

Uttarakhand: Classes from 6 to 8 will begin on August 16. Classes for 9 to 12 resumed on August 2.

Himachal Pradesh: Classes 10 to 12 began on August 2.  

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