Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, September 30
In new guidelines issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs has given state and UT governments flexibility to take a decision after October 15 on reopening of schools and coaching institutions, in a graded manner.
The guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.
The decision on reopening schools shall be taken in consultation with the respective school management, based on their assessment of the situation. Online and distance learning shall 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 or 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, based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Union Ministry of Education, 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 and higher education institutions, in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs, based on the assessment of the situation.
Online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged. However, Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory and experimental works will be permitted to open from October 15. For Centrally Funded Higher Education Institutions, the Head of Institution will satisfy herself/ himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (PhD) and postgraduate students in science and technology stream for laboratory/experimental works.
For all other Higher Education Institutions e.g. state universities, private universities, etc., they may open only for research scholars (PhD) and postgraduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective state and UT governments.