As part of its Unlock 5.0 plans for lifting the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ministry of Education has announced guidelines for reopening of schools, where schools, colleges and other educational institutions in the country can choose to reopen after 15th October 2020.
However, according to reports, only institutions outside containment zones will be permitted to reopen and the exact dates for reopening will be decided by the state governments. As per new reports, states such as Uttar Pradesh have already issued guidelines for the state-wise reopening of schools.
The Department of Higher Education will decide on the timing of the opening of colleges and other higher education institutions in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
For the reopening of schools and coaching classes, governments of the individual states or union territories will take the decision after consulting with the management of the schools or institutions.
Students would only be allowed to attend school with the written consent of their parents and guardians, while online learning or distance education will still be preferred and encouraged.
States and union territories need to prepare their own SOPs based on the Education Ministry SOP, keeping the local requirements in view.
Schools which decide to reopen will need to follow the SOP issued by the state education departments.
Higher education institutes would only reopen for PhD research scholars and postgraduate students in the Science and Technology fields requiring experimental or lab work.