HRD Ministry begins process for reopening of schools, discusses safety measures, asks for suggestions

Representative Photo.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on Monday began consultation with the stakeholders and other states on the reopening of schools which are shut since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted “obtained valuable suggestions from state governments regarding issues related to school education. Our priority has always been the safety and security of students and teachers”.

As per the HRD minister, the suggestions received will be examined and sent to the Ministry of Health and Family welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs.

The suggestions given included pointers like non compulsion of maintaining attendance, classes on alternative days and a very flexible time table so that students could adjust in accordance with the scenario of the pandemic.

According to an official, “the government is clear on one part that nothing will be rushed without proper consultations and students’ safety will be the top priority while making any decision”.

“However, it is early to decide on when schools will reopen, consultations have begun. A final decision will be taken by MHA in this regard and states will also have to keep the COVID-19 situation in mind,” he added.

The meeting was chaired by Secretary School Education, Anita Karwal. The state education secretaries discussed the safety measures to be taken so as to ensure the safety of the students. They also deliberated upon the issues faced under the digital education.

Educational institutions have been shut across India since March 16 as an integral part of the measures taken to control the spread of the pandemic.

On March 24, a 21 day nationwide lockdown was announced. Even though, restrictions were lifted slightly, educational institutions remained closed.

“State governments and UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, decision on reopening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July,” the home ministry had said.

Parents seem to be question the credibility of this decision in terms of the safety of the students. Of about 4 lakh Parents from across the country signed a petition stating that the closure of schools should be continued pertaining to the grim situation due to COVID-19. They suggested the reopening of schools only when the vaccine for the virus is available.

As per the health ministry, the number of cases is on a drastic increase. The toll cases rose to 7,200 with 271 more deaths and the number of infections rose to 2,56,611 in India on Monday after a record of 9,983 cases on a single day.


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