Schools and colleges across the country have been closed since the second week of March in the wake of Covid-19. As reported by ThePrint last week, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is working on guidelines for the reopening of schools after the lockdown. Some of the suggested measures include having no assembly sessions, seminars and gatherings in schools for a long time. Apart from this, schools are also likely to call only 30 per cent of students at a time to maintain social distancing.

A shift system in schools?

Officials in NCERT told The that the council has suggested two ways a staggered attendance system can be pulled off – either calling some students on one day and the remaining on other days, or managing in shifts wherever it is possible.

While there is no clarity from the government on when schools will reopen, states like Delhi are looking at a July date to reopen.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in an interview this week that he hopes to see students back in classrooms in July. “We hope to be able to welcome our children back to school in July, but are actively working on contingency plans, in case there are further delays,” he told India Today on 11 May.

‘Don’t combine evaluation work with online teaching’

Apart from plans to start the new academic session, the HRD minister also informed teachers who are on board evaluation duty that they do not need to juggle it with online classes.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has started the evaluation work for Class 10-12 board exams from 12 May. Answer sheets are being sent to teachers’ homes so that all safety norms are followed.

Pokhriyal’s assurance came as some teachers complained to the minister that they were being made to take online classes while carrying out evaluation work.

“Teachers who are involved with evaluation work need not take online classes. The CBSE has also issued these guidelines. We understand that both things are not possible at the same time,” he said.

This was the third live interaction that the HRD Minister has held in the last one month. Before this, he spoke to parents and students in two separate live interactions where he answered various queries about the lockdown. He answered various queries about the lockdown. He also plans to hold a similar interaction with vice-chancellors across the country to discuss the resumption of higher-education institutes after the Covid lockdown.