With multiple states reporting a steady decline in the number of new Chinese coronavirus cases and the vaccination drive picking up pace, governments have initiated safe reopening of schools, especially for the higher grades.
Here is a list of states who have allowed the reopening of schools with appropriate Covid-19 protocols and safety measures in place.
Odisha govt says “not able to reach all students” through digital medium
The Odisha government on Saturday announced the reopening of schools for Class 10 and Class 12 from July 26 after observing a drop in Covid-19 cases.
Satyabrata Sahu, School and Mass Education Secretary elaborated on the decision saying, “Online classes, an alternative mode of education, were initiated due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, we have not been able to reach all students in the State. Due to poor mobile connectivity issues, the government has decided to reopen schools for Class 10 and 12 from July 26.”
Meanwhile, classes for other grades will continue online. “If the situation improves further, we are considering reopening school for Class 9 from August 16, and for Class 11 after September 15,” added Sahu.
Schools in Punjab to reopen from July 26
The Punjab government on Tuesday allowed the reopening of schools from July 26 for classes 10 to 12.
However, only the staff members who have been fully vaccinated and students with their parents’ consent will be allowed to attend physical classes.
Haryana announced reopening of schools for classes 9-12
Haryana school education directorate announced the reopening of the government and private schools for students of classes 9 to 12 from July 16. The announcement also said that the wards will have to furnish written permission from parents allowing them to physically attend classes.
The decision for reopening other grades will be taken only later, said the report.
Puducherry CM announced reopening of schools from July 16
Joining the aforementioned states in an attempt to normalize daily lives, Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangaswamy also announced the reopening of schools for higher grades considering a drop in cases. Schools for classes 9-12 and colleges reopened from July 16 in Puducherry.
Chandigarh schools receive lukewarm response
As schools for standard 9-12 reopened in Chandigarh, the attendance of students remained on the lower side. However, this could also be because of the rains and ongoing exams, suggested a report.
School education director Rubinderjit Singh Brar said around 4,000 of the 40,000 students studying in Classes 9 to 12 attended physical school on Monday. Attending schools has not been made compulsory and students can choose to attend online sessions.
According to the staff of several schools, attendance was higher at schools in the periphery of the city than those within the city.
Happy after interacting with students, “It was a refreshing experience to interact with students in person, but students who are not vaccinated yet remain at risk,” said a teacher.
Low turnout in Gurugram schools
Like Chandigarh, schools in Gurugram which opened last Friday recorded a low turnout. While 15-20% of students belonging to state-run schools reported to school on Friday, the private schools saw an attendance of over 25%.
The students were queued up for sanitization and were given designated benches adhering to the Covid-19 norms.
Schools partially open in Gujarat
Gujarat reopened schools for class 12 with 50% capacity starting July 15. The government is yet to take a decision on starting school for students of lower grades.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani informed, “Gujarat to reopen schools for class 12 students and colleges for undergraduate and postgraduate students from July 15. 50 per cent of students will be allowed to attend campuses. Students can attend physical classes on a voluntary basis. Attendance will not be mandatory,” said Rupani.
The UNICEF, WHO Chief and AIIMS director have also urged the governments to consider resuming regular schools. Shutting schools for an indiscriminate period could lead to generational catastrophe, said UNICEF in a statement.