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Schools to start from September 21st in India

The Government of India (GOI) has probably taken it’s biggest step to return to normalcy since theCOVID-19 pandemic stalled our lives, by issuing guidelines for the partial reopening of schools and colleges from September 21. However, only 9-12th grade students will be allowed to visit their school after getting written consent from their parents or guardians. Students can only go to clear doubts and seek guidance from the teachers as the traditional way of schooling is a far-fetched dream right now.

Preventive measures like social distancing, masks, frequent washing of hands for upto a minute are just some of the measures that students will have to follow. It also professes to use open spaces for the conducting of classes. Sharing of items like pen/pencil, notebooks, water bottles amongst students are banned. Excursions such as assemblies and sport activities (as they can lead to overcrowding) are not permitted for the time being. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stated that online learning will continue and will be encouraged also. Students, employees and teachers living in containment zones are not allowed to go to school.

Even the State Governments in some of the states such as Bihar and Andhra Pradesh have already decided to start normal classes from 21st September as cases have started to decline outside the containment zones. In Haryana, from this week classes have started for two government run schools in different districts as well.

This is also a boon for the students in the rural areas as the school authorities over there are finding it difficult to cope up with the demands of online classrooms. Many of them don’t have the services required such as mobile phones and internet connectivity for the classes to be carried out. It is vital for many students, especially the ones in higher grades, to get back to school as online schooling makes learning very difficult. Also opening of schools will give students some clarity on how some of their potentially life changing exams will be carried out as the current situation made it very difficult for students to give their IIT-JEE/NEET etc. exams.

Reporter: Rishit Roy

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