As India entered the fifth phase of unlock since the coronavirus outbreak, the Centre has given relaxations under which it has also allowed states to reopen schools from October 15. However, some states are still concerned about the reopening of schools as it can lead to an immediate acceleration in the number of coronavirus cases causing major health risk.
The Centre’s unlock guideline stated that all schools, colleges located outside COVID-19 containment zone can be reopened from October 15.
The Punjab government on Monday allowed the partial reopening of schools from October 15 but with certain riders. According to a notification issued by the state Home Department, students of only Class 9 to 12 will be permitted to attend schools with parental consent of each student.
An official letter said that based on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order of September 30, the state government has decided to allow more activities in areas outside the containment zones after October 15.
The state government will also reopen coaching institutions in a graded manner after October 15. However, online/distance learning will continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and will be encouraged.
“The state government has decided to reopen schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner after 15.10.2020 subject to the following conditions: a. On-line/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, b. Students of only classes 9th to 12th are permitted to attend schools/institutions with the parental consent of each student and without making attendance compulsory,” added the letter.
Institutions to open from October 15 only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students in science and technology streams requiring laboratories/experimental works.
“Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer shall be mandatory,” it added.