New Delhi: After more than six months of closure, schools and colleges are likely to reopen when the Centre announces the guidelines for the Unlock 5, that will most probably come into effect from the first week of October.
Currently, schools have partially reopened from September 21 in compliance with the Unlock 4 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). These have only been allowed in the non-COVID-19-containment zones.
"Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians," the MHA had said in its Unlock 4 guidelines.
The MHA had also stated that States and UTs may permit up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.
Notably, UTs and states like Haryana, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Nagaland have already reopened schools with students studying in classes 9 to 12 visiting their institutions for taking guidance from the teachers.
Some universities and colleges have also started the new academic year and have begun taking online classes.
The Centre will also take into consideration their efforts of holding JEE Main and NEET entrance examination amid the coronavirus outbreak, which reportedly was conducted successfully.
Meanwhile, the rising coronavirus cases across India could also force schools and colleges to remain closed as the COVID-19 total in India has crossed the 61-lakh mark. There were 70,589 new infections in India on Monday.