Haryana government gave a nod to restart schools from July whereas colleges and universities are set to reopen from August. However, parents have expressed anger and unwillingness to send their children to schools, considering the rising cases of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kanwar Pal Gujjar, Haryana Minister for Education, Forest and Parliamentary Affairs said since the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its Unlock 1 guideline has already permitted the opening of schools and college in phase 2 of the reopening beginning July 1, the state government has decided to open the schools. He further stated that the government will ‘unlock’ schools in a phased manner for classes X, XI, and XII, in two shifts.
“We will do it in a phased manner by starting teaching work for classes 10, 11 and 12 on July 1; for classes 6, 7, 8 and 9 after 15 days; and for the primary classes from August. The classes would be held in shifts so that half the students of a class come in the first shift and the rest in the second shift. We are yet to decide whether it should be morning and evening shift or on alternate days,” said the minister.
As for the colleges and universities, Gujjar said that classes for part one of the BA, BSc, BCom, and other graduation classes will begin from September, while the teaching for other classes would begin from August.
The education minister further stated that the authorities will first run demonstration classes to work out the social distancing, sanitization policy, and fixing of shifts. “The health and safety of the citizens is our topmost priority and we will reopen only after being 100 percent sure. All stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and media persons, would be part of the unlock committees that will decide the way ahead,” he added.
Nonetheless, the decision to reopen schools, colleges, and universities have startled the parents who expressed displeasure in sending their children to schools, as the state has been reporting an increased number of COVID-19 cases daily. Parents claimed that rather than chalking out a strategy to defeat the pandemic, the state was busy working out ways to help schools earn money and cover their lockdown losses.
There were also three deaths reported in the state, in the last 24 hours. The NCR districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad, and Sonipat reported the highest number of cases 132, 69, and 28 respectively.
“Our children are not testing kits in districts like Gurgaon where 100 cases are being reported every day. We will not allow our children to step out. The government should make all districts COVID-free before opening the schools,” said one of the representatives of a local parents’ association.