Indian Schools Reopening in a Phased Manner
Schools across the country resume the offline mode on Wednesday, September 1. While most states, including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, are beginning the first phase of reopening for students in senior wings, states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are working on the second phase of reopening.
Almost one and a half years after schools shut down due to a spike in infections, several states decided to reopen in a phased manner from September 1, like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh.
The complex decision to reopen the schools was taken by consulting health experts and parents, analysing the possibility of spread and accordingly, designed the COVID-19 protocols.
According to IMA (Indian Medical Association) President Dr Jayalal, this is the right moment and welcomes government to take the calculated risk as the students, especially those from a lower-income background, have faced heavy learning losses.
The educational institutions should adhere to the government-necessitated COVID-19 guidelines for the safety of the students.
In general, the brief focuses on three areas: attendance, social distancing, and hygiene & cleaning like staggered lunch breaks, minimum seating capacity in class, quarantine room, masking and sanitisation protocols.
Status of School Reopening Across The Country
School bells are ringing again in the national capital for classes 9-12 with strict anti-COVID measures. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister & Education Minister Manish Sisodia said that the spirits are high and blame the rain for the low footfall. In the next meeting, the decision for the reopening of the primary schools will be made. Delhi government is planning for Bridge courses for those who had a critical year.
Physical classes resumed for Classes 9 to 12 with 50 per cent attendance blending both the modes. According to the SOP, schools will function six days a week, and 20 students batch per room. If no rooms are available, then students follow on a rotational basis on alternate days.
Rajasthan schools also reopened schools for the senior wing. The school management was directed to fully vaccinate the staff or at least one dose of COVID19 vaccine 14 days before the reopening.
MP reopens schools for classes for 6-12. The resumption of classes 1-5 will be decided based on the situation after a week.
Physical classes for Telangana schools also resumed for class standards 1-12. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Education Minister P Sabita Indira Reddy inspected some schools in the state.
UP Schools had already opened for standards 9-12 on August 16, 2021, and 6-8 from August 23. On September 1, classes also resumed for classes 1-5, keeping in mind the COVID19 norms.
Delayed Reopening of Schools
On August 30, Assam dropped the idea of reopening the schools on September 1 at the last minute, even when the health department gave a thumbs-up.
Karnataka is reopening the schools for classes 6-8 on September 6, whereas standards 9-12 are already open on August 23. Maharashtra- the worst-hit state during both the first and second waves of COVID-19, may not reopen soon.
Amidst some anxiety, most students and parents look enthusiastic about getting back to physical classes after a long break.
Few school managements are still sceptical about the entire situation and wait for a week to analyse the experience of other schools and states.
Also, Vaccination for children aged 12 and above will begin in October with Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine.
While every new wave starts with a mutation, there has been grave concern about the third wave targeting children, and many experts believe that children’s in-built immunity will protect them from the virus.