Unlock 5.0: MHA lets states decide on opening schools after Oct 15

Unlock 5.0: MHA lets states decide on opening schools after Oct 15
Abhay Anand | Sep 30, 2020 - 8:26 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Centre has allowed schools and colleges to open after October 15. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued "Unlock 5" guidelines under which it has stated that educational institutions can be opened after October 15 in a graded manner.

As per the MHA Unlock 5 guidelines, states and Union Territories can take a call on reopening of schools and coaching centres post-October 15 in a graded manner.

The MHA guidelines say: “For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions state and UTs have been given the flexibility to take a decision after 15th October 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.”

The guidelines have also stated that online and distance learning shall continue to be the prefaced mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

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MHA has issued new guidelines on managing the spread of COVID-19 further relaxing a range of restrictions on movement and activities.

Unlock 5.0: MHA Guidelines

The Unlock 5 guidelines also state that students can be permitted to attend schools or institutions only with the written consent of their parents and attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.

It has also asked states to ensure that schools which are allowed to open, shall have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.

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The department of higher education under the Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of colleges/ higher education institutions, in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation.

For higher education as well, the MHA has stated that online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

Unlock 5.0 Guidelines: MHA fixes number

However, HEIs will be allowed to open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology streams requiring laboratory/ experimental works.

Since MHA allowed some academic activity under the Unlock 4, in the recent guidelines it has given more relaxation.

The MHA guidelines document says that the decision to keep school and college shut was taken after "extensive consultation" with states and Union Territories.

During Unlock 4, schools in some of the states have already started operations for students of class IX-XII. While in the new guidelines for October it has left it completely on states to take a call on reopening of educational institutions post-October 15 in a graded manner

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