The government is planning to reopen schools across the country after August 15, sources in the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said, adding that the reopening will be subject to the situation of the coronavirus crisis at the time. Schools and colleges across the country have been closed since March 16, shortly before the center announced the nationwide lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The union minister said that the schools and colleges would be reopened after August 2020, possibly even after August 15, 2020. Besides that, he revealed that the administration is trying to declare all the results of examinations that took place in this session, by August 15.

More than 33 crore students have been waiting for the reopening of educational institutes. According to reports in May, it was speculated that schools and colleges would reopen in July with around 30 percent attendance and students till class 8 would stay at home.

In an interview with NDTV in May, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said the final decisions on reopening of schools would depend on the ground situation. “From July 1 to 15, there will be exams and the schools will open after the exams,” the minister had said. Asked how the exams can be held in July when India’s coronavirus cases are likely to peak, the minister said: “We cannot predict what will happen in July. We will abide by the home ministry and the health ministry decision. The safety of students will be paramount.”

While CBSE board exams would be held from July 1 to July 15, ICSE/ISC exams will begin from July 1 till July 12. NEET and JEE are also taking place in July while NEET will take place on July 26, JEE will take place from July 18 to July 23.

Talking about the roadmap for reopening of schools, School Education Secretary Anita Karwal earlier this month indicated that the pandemic has put the focus on the quality of digital education.

Safety guidelines are a must for education institutions to resume work again in the Covid-19 circumstances.

The guidelines, which would be different in all three cases, will help students and teachers ensure safety while schools reopen amidst a coronavirus pandemic.

As per reports, teachers would need to wear masks and gloves, thermal scanners would be installed in schools, only two students would sit on three-seaters, CCTVs would observe if social distancing rules are being followed.

Moreover, the safety guidelines would be printed and put up in several locations in each school and the SDM and DM of each concerned area would further fine-tune the Covid-19 safety guidelines as required.