Will colleges open in October? Here is what Centre's Unlock 5.0 guidelines say on opening of schools, universities, coaching institutions
ANI

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said states union territories can decide on reopening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner.

Earlier, schools were partially reopened from September 21 in compliance with Unlock 4 guidelines.

The Home Ministry issued new coronavirus Unlock 5.0 guidelines, allowing opening up of more activities in areas outside the containment zones.

In these guidelines, which will come into effect from October 1, 2020, the process of re-opening of activities has been extended further. The new guidelines are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments, the MHA said.

Here is what the Home Ministry said on opening of schools, colleges, coaching institutions

For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, state and UT governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after October 15, in a graded manner. The decision will be taken in consultation with the respective school, institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to various conditions.

The MHA said that online and distance learning will continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.

Students may attend schools, institutions only with the written consent of parents.

Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.

States and UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening of schools and institutions based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.

Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of states and UTs.

Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of colleges, higher education institutions, in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation. Online, distance learning will continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

However, Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory and experimental works will be permitted to open from October 15 under various conditions.

For centrally funded higher education institutions, the head of institution will make sure that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for laboratory and experimental works.

For all other higher education institutions like state universities, private universities, they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and postgraduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory and experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective state and UT governments.

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