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‘Decision to reopen schools rests solely with state governments’

DSEK says, ‘We will follow MHA guidelines, any other decision lies with Govt’

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Sep 18 (KINS): The final decision, to open schools and allow students, even voluntarily, to go to school to seek guidance, rests solely with the state governments, the MHA said.

The unlock 4.0 guidelines, as released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, allows schools to partially open for teaching and non-teaching staff as well as for voluntary attendance of students of classes 9 to 12 after september 21, 2020.

However the authorities here in the schools education department Kashmir told news agency KINS they have to follow the MHA guidelines. “We have to follow the guidelines of the MHA on the reopening of the schools. But yes any other decision is the prerogative of the government. It is better to further talk to the higher ups,” said one of the top officials here in the Directorate of Schools education, wishing anonymity.

KINS tried to contact the Advisor KK Sharma, Principal Secretary School Education Department, Dr Asgar Hasan Samoon and even the government spokesperson Rohit Kansal to confirm the UT government’s decision over the issue, but no one was available to attend the call or even answer the whatsapp messages.

While many states are planning to open the schools this month, some are not ready to take any risks keeping the pandemic under consideration. The Haryana and Delhi Government have allowed students of classes 9 to 12 to attend school to clarify doubts or seek guidance.

Those states who are planning to reopen the schools from next week will have to follow all SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health.

Sources said that most of the state governments have deferred re-opening of schools, Moreover, the Unlock 4.0 guidelines also suggest that schools can be opened after September 21, 2020 for teachers and non-teaching staff for special circumstances. However, regular classes will not begin now until September 30, 2020.

The schools would be allowed to reopen with 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff.
The SOPs released by the Health Minister has also forbidden sports periods, assemblies or opening of canteen on school premises. The colleges can also be functional for postgraduate and Ph.D scholars, but will also remain closed for others. (KINS)

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