3 states to open schools from tomorrow, put strict Covid-19 norms in place
Punjab, Maharashtra and Manipur will reopen schools from Wednesday with authorities imposing strict norms due to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools and other educational institutions across the country had been shut for months after the Centre imposed a lockdown and other related restrictions in the initial phase of the pandemic. Delhi, Rajasthan and Odisha are among the states and Union Territories (UTs) which have allowed the reopening of schools after a dip in the number of infections.
India on Tuesday reported 9,102 fresh cases of the coronavirus disease and 117 related deaths in the last 24 hours. This has been the first time in months that the country's daily Covid-19 tally went below the 10,000-mark. As many as 8,909 Covid-19 cases were reported on June 3, 2020.
In view of the improving Covid-19 situation across the country, here is a look at how Punjab, Maharashtra and Manipur will reopen schools:
Amid the persistent demands of parents, the Congress-led government in Punjab decided to reopen all schools for primary classes from January 27, education minister Vijay Inder Singla had said on Wednesday. Singla added that students of Classes 3 and 4 will be allowed to attend school from January 27. He also said that students of Classes 1 and 2 will be allowed to attend classes from February 1. School timings will be the same from 10am to 3pm and parents are required to provide written consent before sending their children. The state education minister had also directed officials and management of schools to ensure proper cleaning of school premises and abide by all Covid-19 safety norms. Punjab had added 172 new cases and five more deaths on Monday which pushed its caseload to 172,089. There are 2,152 active Covid-19 cases and the recoveries are nearing 165,000.
Schools will reopen for Classes 5 to 8 in Maharashtra from Wednesday after they were closed for more than 10 months, state’s education minister Varsha Gaikwad had said on January 15. “I have informed chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that schools can be reopened for Classes 5 to 8 from January 27,” Gaikwad had said. The Maharashtra government had earlier reopened schools and junior colleges for Classes 9 to 12 had reopened in other parts of the state after assessing the Covid-19 situation in these areas. However, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) pointed out that schools and colleges in the capital city of Mumbai will remain shut till further orders. As many as 1,842 new coronavirus disease cases were added on Monday with Mumbai reporting the highest number of cases at 348.
An official told news agency PTI on January 16 that the Manipur government would reopen schools for Classes 9 to 12 from January 27. A state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister N Biren Singh on January 15 had passed this decision, the official added. Meanwhile, a release issued by the information and public relations department stated that all colleges in Manipur would also reopen and all Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) related to Covid-19 would have to be strictly followed. Manipur has registered nearly 29,000 coronavirus disease cases till now of which 369 people have died and 28,442 have recovered. More than 1,400 beneficiaries have been administered Covid-19 vaccine doses in the state.
(With agency inputs)