As the COVID-19 lockdown rules are gradually relaxed, schools and other educational institutions in India have reopened with a slew of precautionary measures in place. With the various states taking up the unlocking process at different paces, schools in three states will open up their doors on Monday.
Schools outside containment zones in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Sikkim will open partially today.
In all cases, parental permission is a must for students to attend.
While the Centre's unlocking norms had permitted schools to reopen with restrictions, many states have so far opted to keep schools shut.
Here's what we know about the guidelines:
In UP, schools outside containment zones will reopen from October 19 for students of Classes 9 to 12. Lectures will be held in shifts with relevant social distancing measures such as seating arrangements with six feet distance between students. Sanitisation of the premises will also be undertaken by the school.
As per reports, the shifts will be split by class. The first shift will be for Class 9 and Class 10 students, while senior students attend the second shift. Not all students will be able to come on the same day. Schools will ask 50% of the students to appear on alternate days.
However, it is not mandatory for students to come to school. Directives have also been issued for schools to continue online classes.
Schools in the northern state will reopen from October 19 in a graded manner. With no winter holidays this year, classes will be held for six days every week. Saturday will be a half day. Attendance is however on a voluntary basis, and students of classes 11 and 12 will need written permission from their guardians to attend from today. Younger classes will be gradually allowed to come back. While Classes 6 to 8 will be able to return from November 2, Classes 3 to 5 will resume from November 23.
Online classes will continue to take place and attendance is voluntary.
Reportedly, the state government has created a new academic calendar. According to reports, the current academic session with conclude on February 13 next year. Two days later, the new session will commence.
Here too, only senior students, from Classes 9 to 12, will be permitted to attend with the permission of their guardians. The School Education Department will issue standard operating procedures that must be followed by any school that is reopening.
Attendance is not compulsory, and online classes will continue to be held.