No timeline yet for reopening schools as states hesitateUpdated: Aug 10, 2020 23:52 IST
No timeline has been fixed yet by the ministry of education to reopen schools, as a majority of states are not in favour of such a move due to the continuing spike in Covid-19 cases, according to persons familiar with the matter.
While the government is looking at the possibility of starting classes for senior students from September-end or October, no final decision has been taken in this regard, they said.
“No timeline has been fixed yet as the decision will completely depend on the pandemic situation. Barring one Union territory, no other state or UT is in favour of reopening schools in near future,” a person familiar with the matter said.
“The ministry officials also emphasized before the panel that there would be no zero year. They also apprised the panel of the efforts made to gauge the effectiveness of the online teaching mode. Surveys, etc, are being conducted, including in municipal schools, to find out ways to make teaching more effective,” the person said.
Earlier in the day, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also said at an event that the decision to open campuses will be taken after discussions with states and other stakeholders.
“Possibility of higher secondary classes in late September is being explored but there has been no final decision. Whenever it is decided, the Centre will only issue an advisory in this regard and states will have to take a call depending on the Covid-19 situation in their districts,” the person added.
In July, the parliamentary panel for HRD had seen a rejig, with Vinay Sahasrabuddhe becoming the head addition of new members, including BJP MP Jyotiraditiya Scindia.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of the measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day and threw economic activities out of gear. While the government has largely eased restrictions, schools and colleges continue to remain closed.
Last month, the education ministry had sent out a letter to states and Union territories to furnish a feedback from parents of school-going children, as to when they would be comfortable with reopening of schools — August, September or October 2020.