According to the latest guidelines released by the Union Home Ministry, schools and colleges will be allowed to function from 15 October 2020 under ‘Unlock 5.0’. After six months of shutting down the country’s educational institutions, the decision was taken to contain the pandemic’s spread. As per the guidelines, the schools have been given in-principal approval for reopening, but the decision solely remains with the educational institutions and the respective states.
Although schools and colleges have been allowed to operate, students don’t need to attend the classes. Only after producing a consent form duly signed by the parents can the students attend the classes. Moreover, classes will be conducted in a staggered way, which means that daily classes will not occur. A timetable will be formulated so that only one-third of the total students and half of the staff will be allowed to visit the campus. No students or staff from the containment zone will be allowed to commute to the campus.
Proper Sanitization and SOPs Must be Followed
The Union Home Ministry has clearly outlined that schools and colleges planning to reopen the premises must follow standard safety protocols. The campus will be supervised before allowing it to function. Proper sanitization of the premise and campus, following social distancing norms, entry and exit of the students and staff in a staggered form, etc. must be followed.
CFITs to be Reopened for Research Scholars, PG Students
According to the ‘Unlock 5.0’ guidelines released today, research scholars and postgraduate students in science and technology streams in centrally-run institutions who require laboratory and experimental work will be allowed to visit the institutions from 15 October 2020. However, the guidelines clearly state that the administration or head of the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions needs to justify that there is a “genuine requirement” for PhD and PG students for lab work. Only after that will students be permitted to visit institutions for practical work.
Online Education: The Preferred Mode
Even though many states like Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar have decided to reopen schools and colleges this month, many are still considering online mode as the preferred choice for continuing the flow of education. Many parents are still not ready to provide consent for sending their wards to schools and maintain, and the online mode could be used until the situation gets normalized.