HRD Minister on Ways to Reopen Schools After COVID-19 Lockdown

The NCERT is working on a plan to reopen schools when the situation returns to normal.

2 min read
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday, 14 May, said that spaced-out seating arrangements, division of class into further sections and change in timings could be some of the measures that schools will will have to implement whenever they reopen, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Pokhriyal made these suggestions during a live, in which he was addressing teachers across the country. He said that students may have to follow social distancing norms not just within classrooms, but also during their commute to school in buses.

“It is quite possible that classes would be able to incapacitate only 30 percent of students they used to have before coronavirus. These modalities are being worked out by NCERT.”
Ramesh Pokhriyal

The minister also mentioned that while the NCERT has been asked to come up with guidelines for schools, the UGC has been tasked with the same mandate for colleges and universities. The NCERT is expected to submit its suggestions by next week.

Further, he said that specific tasks would be created for teachers in schools and responsibilities for ensuring health and hygiene would be defined before schools reopen.

“The school administration and teachers will carry out the various tasks such as defining specific roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders at the school level, defining and establishing health and hygiene and other Safety Protocols or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) before and after re-opening of schools, redefining or readjusting the School Calendar and Annual Curriculum Plans, ensuring a smooth transition of students from home-based schooling during lockdown to formal schooling and ensuring emotional well-being of students”.
Ramesh Pokhriyal

While schools and colleges across the country have been shut since the lockdown was declared in March, several board and competitive exams that were scheduled during this period have been postponed.

While CBSE has said that pending exams will be conducted from 1 to 15 July, colleges have been asked to explore ways to conduct final -year examinations online, while giving them the option of conducting internal assessment for first and second year students.

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