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School reopening: If students prefer online classes, allow them to do so, says Centre

School
A student undergoes thermal screening before she enters the school to submit her personal assessment project for the upcoming annual examination, during Unlock 4, in Ranchi. (PTI)

New Delhi, September 30: The Centre on Wednesday released a detailed guideline on how resume educational activities in October. In its unlock 4.0 guideline, it had allowed states to allow senior students to come to the campuses for guidance from September 21. However, not many states readily accepted the idea owing to the resistance from the parents as well. In its latest guideline, the MHA has spelt out a detailed plan.
Opening of Schools, colleges, education institutions and coaching institutions
1. For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after October 15, 2020, in a graded manner. The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/ institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to the following conditions:
* Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
* 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.
*Students may attend schools/ institutions only with the written consent of parents.
* Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.
2. States /UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening of schools/ institutions based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.
3. Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.
4. Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions, in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
5. However, Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/ experimental works will be permitted to open from 15th October, 2020, as under:
* For Centrally Funded Higher Education Institutions, the Head of Institution will satisfy herself/ himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for laboratory/experimental works.
*For all other Higher Education Institutions e.g. State Universities, Private Universities etc., they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and postgraduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective State/UT Governments. (Courtesy: HT)

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