Schools for classes 9-12, colleges, coaching institutes to reopen in Delhi from Sep 1

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI): Schools for classes 9-12, colleges and coaching institutions will reopen in the national capital from September 1 following prolonged closure in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi government announced on Friday.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). A panel set up by the DDMA had earlier this week submitted its report recommending phase-wise reopening of schools in the national capital. The decision came following a marked improvement in the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, following a recent brutal second wave of the infection which claimed many lives, with the shortage of oxygen at hospitals across the city adding to the woes.
“In view of decreasing COVID cases, schools are being slowly reopened in Delhi with complete precautions, so that the learning loss for students can be reduced. We have to bring back life on track and take care of studies as well as health of students,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said teaching and learning activities will continue to be conducted in a blended mode. “No child will be forced to attend physical classes and there will be no compulsory attendance. Consent of the parents will be must for students to attend physical classes,” he said during a press conference.
While Sisodia said no final decision has been taken regarding junior classes and a call will be taken after analysing the effect of reopening schools for senior classes, sources indicated that schools for classes 6 to 8 may reopen from September 8.
Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. While several states started partial reopening of schools from October last year, Delhi government allowed reopening in January only for classes 9 to 12.
However, schools were again completely shut in April following an aggressive second wave of COVID-19.
University Grants Commission (UGC) had also left the decision about reopening of colleges and varsities with respective state governments depending upon the COVID-19 situation.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) will soon notify the detailed SOPs for reopening of schools.
Separate entry and exit to avoid crowding, calling 50 per cent students of classroom seating capacity, increased facility for cleaning and sanitisation, availability of quarantine room and random collection of samples of students and staff on regular basis are among the SOPs recommended by the DDMA committee.

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