All the schools in India were instructed to be shut in 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Various state governments have now decided to reopen the physical classes after the Standing Committee on Education, Women, and Children in the first week of August said, in its report to Parliament this week that closure of schools due to Covid-induced lockdowns had aided child marriages and child labor and hazards of continued closure were too serious to be ignored.
Backing school reopening, the panel said, “The closure of schools has impacted the social fabric of families in a negative manner, leading to early marriages or child marriages and increased involvement of children in household chores. The present situation has exacerbated the learning crisis that existed even before the pandemic with the marginal and vulnerable children getting adversely affected.”
List of all the states that are either planning to reopen or have reopened the schools:
Delhi Schools were allowed to be open partially for students of class 10-12 (August 9). Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has released an order regarding the opening of schools for work related to admission and practical activities for board exams. The health checkup camps situated on school campuses have also been permitted to resume.
Delhi government issued guidelines to be followed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Written consent from parents, not sharing books and stationery, sanitisation of schools, and thermal screening are among those SOPs.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said it is permitting students of class 10 to 12 to visit schools for work related to admission and practical activities for the board exams, while also allowing health checkup camps situated on school campuses to resume. Schools in the national capital were closed in March last year ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The schools in Uttar Pradesh reopened for classes 9 to 12 from (August 16) following a dip in Covid-19 cases in the state. Speaking to ANI, Anvita Verma Incharge of Lucknow city Montessori School's senior section said, "Our session started but due to lockdown, the schools were closed again. For this, we are following the Covid protocols. At the entrance gate, there is thermal scanning. Sanitizers have been put on every floor. Mask is compulsory for students and teachers and staff members as well. Social distance is being followed properly." "In the sitting arrangement also we are maintaining the social distancing," she added.
Bihar schools have finally reopened for classes 1- 8 from August 16. The classes will be held with 50 per cent attendance and on alternate days.
Bihar Education Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary wished all the students good luck. The minister tweeted, "From today, the schools for classes 1 to 8 are starting again keeping in mind the Corona guidelines. My best wishes to all the teachers, children and parents. I pray to God for the bright future of the children. All children read and move on."
It is up to local officials to decide, taking into consideration the Covid-19 situation in an area, whether physical classes should resume at schools, Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad.
The Maharashtra government has also reopened schools for class 5 to class 8 students in rural areas and class 8 to class 12 students in urban areas on August 17. The district and local authorities will take a final call after reviewing the Covid-19 situation. Earlier this week, an official said that parents of students from several Maharashtra districts have been demanding the reopening of primary schools and those from Classes 5 to 8.
Punjab school physical classes were started on August 2 right from pre-primary levels from today, news agency ANI reported. Notably, the government had already allowed the reopening of schools for classes 10 to 12 from July 26.
State School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla has said that the government has allowed the reopening of schools for all classes from August 2 as it further relaxed Covid restrictions in the wake of declining cases.
Tamil Nadu government eased Covid restrictions in the state and announced schools for classes 9-12 with 50 per cent capacity can reopen from September 1.
In addition to this, all colleges in the state can function from September 1 on a rotational basis with vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff. The government has allowed theatres to reopen with 50 per cent capacity from August 23 and shops to operate till 10 pm. Among other relaxations, IT-related organisations can function with a 100 per cent workforce.
The Rajasthan government has also allowed the reopening of schools from classes 9-12 with 50 per cent capacity on September 1. Teaching and non-teaching staff need to mandatorily have taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine 14 days prior, the state government said. However, classes will be conducted in online mode for students of classes 1 to 8.
Schools in Karnataka are slated to reopen from August 23. The schools will reopen for Classes 9 to 12 only in some selected districts. Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh schools for classes 6 to 8 were to reopen but due to the demise of UP's former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, UP will be observing a public holiday.