The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued Unlock 5.0 guidelines. One of the primary changes to note is that State Governments are empowered to reopen schools according to their wishes. However, the decision to re-open colleges is to be taken later. Any educational institutions that have doctoral and postgraduate researchers in science and technology streams that have laboratory work are also allowed to open.
However, the schools cannot open without any further guidelines. The new Home Ministry guidelines request the state government to reopen schools “in a graded manner in consultation with the management of schools and based on their assessment of the situation.” The Union Home Ministry has listed six conditions that the schools must follow:
- “Online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
- Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
- Students may attend schools and institutions only with the written consent of parents.
- Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.
- States will prepare their own standard operating procedure regarding health and safety precautions for the reopening of schools based on the procedures to be outlined by the Union education ministry.
Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by the state education department.” When dictating the Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the Centre has not listed out any directions for reopening colleges and institutions of higher education. The Department of Higher Education in consultation with the Union home ministry shall dictate the reopening date for colleges. The Union Home Ministry encourages online learning as the teaching mode for colleges. Any institution with doctoral research scholars and post-graduate students in science and technology that are run by the Central Government shall take the decision of reopening after satisfying the condition that “there is a genuine requirement of research scholars of the two streams to come for laboratory or experimental works.” [Read Order]