States to get flexibility to decide on college, school reopening post October 15

States to get flexibility to decide on college, school reopening post October 15

Educational institutes including schools, colleges, and coaching institutes will be allowed to reopen from October 15 as India is entering into the next phase of unlocking. According to the latest guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released today, states and union territory (UTs) will have the “flexibility to take a decision after October 15, in a graded manner” on reopening of educational institutes.

For research scholars, PhD fellows, and postgraduate students in science and technology streams where laboratory or experimental works are required, the higher education institutes can open from October 15. For the rest of the college students, the guidelines ask the higher education department to take decisions after consultation with the respective schools or institution management.

Even as the physical classrooms are opening up, the online or distance learning will continue and would rather be “the preferred mode of teaching,” as per the new guidelines. The official statement by the ministry states, “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”.

For students who wish to rejoin their schools or institutes, the written consent of parents is mandatory. Further, the ministry has asked the education institute to not enforce the compulsory attendance rules and the decision of a student attending physical classes “must depend entirely on parental consent”.

Institutes, where physical classrooms will be open, will have to follow strict norms including mandatory masks, gloves, the six-feet distance between students, teachers, equipment etc along with proper sanitisation facilities on part of the institute.

Among other relaxations, there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no separate permission or approval will be required for such movements. Further, the use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged, as per the new guidelines.

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