COVID-19: Centre seeks feedback from states and UTs on reopening of schools

The Union Ministry of Human Resources and Development (HRD) has released a circular asking states and union territories to seek feedback from parents when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools.

The Department of School Education and Literacy, which falls under HRD Ministry, has sent a circular also asking the expectations of parents from schools once they reopen.

The Department of School Education and Literacy has directed education secretaries of all states and union territories to revert with the feedback by July 20.

“I am directed to refer to the subject matter with a request to furnish feedback of parents of school going children on the following points by 20.07.2020 (Monday) positively:

i. What is the likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools —August / September / October, 2020

ii. What are the parents’ expectations from Schools — as and when they reopen.

iii. Any other feedback / remarks in this regard,” the circular from the HRD ministry said.

It may be recalled that all educational institutions across the country have been shut since March 24 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The “extraordinary situation” which has arisen due to the COVID-19 crisis has also forced the Centre to slash the school syllabus up to 30 per cent for students of classes 9 to 12. Justifying the decision, the HRD Ministry had said that courses will be rationalized to lighten the load of the students.

The HRD ministry has been asking schools and colleges to adopt online teaching instead of classroom teaching during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the HRD ministry issued guidelines for online classes by schools, and suggested that schools should impose a cap on duration and the number of sessions in a day for students.