After the immense impact of the second wave of the pandemic, India is gradually inching towards the new normal again. Restrictions have been lifted gradually, as offices, shopping malls, markets, eateries, and even cinema halls are opening again. Several states are planning to resume physical classes in schools and colleges. States like Punjab and Haryana are already leading the way.

Hope is around the corner as students across the country want institutions to reopen after a long time. After the turbulent phase with the cancellation of the board exam, it is an eagerly awaited event. Here is a checklist of the state-wise status on the impending reopening of schools.


Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, met the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) officials to constitute an expert committee. These experts will evaluate the prospects of reopening schools in the national capital. The DDMA has permitted class 10 to 12 students to visit their schools for admission-related matters such as counselling and guidance. They can also check in for practical activities related to board exams. Schools can resume health checkups and referral services, and children of all ages can drop in with their guardians.


According to the Uttar Pradesh state government, schools will reopen for intermediate students from August 16. But they can allow only 50 per cent capacity at one time. The state will also permit higher educational institutes to commence classes from September 1.


The government of Himachal Pradesh had allowed the reopening of schools for students for classes 10 and 12, but revoked the decision later. The schools are shut till August 22, though teaching and non-teaching staff have to attend. The HP government will release an SOP for the residential schools in the state shortly to curb the spread of Covid-19.


Jammu & Kashmir does not plan to reopen schools and higher educational institutions for onsite/in-person teaching until further orders. However, they can call vaccinated staff and students for administrative tasks and Independence Day celebrations. They have to limit the number of people on campus to 25 and ensure stringent adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.


Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit states during the second wave, has announced that physical classes will resume from August 17 in schools in both urban and rural areas. Offline classes in cities will commence for classes 8 to 12, while schools in rural areas will get back students from classes 5 to 8. All the schools will have to follow the Covid-19 protocols strictly. Only 15-20 students will be allowed in a classroom, and they have to be seated six feet apart. However, on-campus classes will be permitted only in areas with consistently low rates of infections.


The Karnataka state government has announced the resumption of offline classes for classes 9 and 10 from August 23. They will also begin for pre-university college students of Classes 11 and 12 from the same date. Schools will have to classify students into two batches, and classes will run on alternate days to ensure social distancing.


According to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the government is considering options to reopen schools and colleges in the state after the Durga Puja holidays in November. They will do it on alternate days, though the decision is not finalised yet.


Schools across the state have already been reopened for classes 10 and 12 on July 26. The government is also planning to resume offline classes for students of grade 9 from August 16 and grade 11 from September 15.


The north-eastern state of Meghalaya may reopen educational institutions physically after mid-August. The decision comes in the wake of about half of the students eligible to get COVID-19 vaccination already being vaccinated. The number will increase further by mid-August, making it a relatively safe decision.

While things are definitely looking up for educational institutions and students, they have to stay one step ahead of the virus. The fear of a third wave is lurking, and only proper precautions can help everyone stay safe. Even as schools and colleges in various states reopen, they need to focus on a flexible, hybrid approach to match the challenges of the situation. Meanwhile, the good news is that students will get an opportunity to get back to campus after a long wait.

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