The Chandigarh administration on Thursday decided to reopen regular school for classes IX to XII from November 2. The administration said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the stakeholders.
Until now the students from these classes were being called to school for two hours for guidance sessions. However, the students were not turning up due to the pandemic.
A letter issued by the District Education Officer (DEO) to all principals and heads said, “Schools may be reopened for regular teaching of class IX to XII from November 2, 2020 in graded manner for which detailed instructions will be issued later on. Schools will follow the guidelines and SoPs issued by the central government. Meanwhile, schools shall make requisite arrangement as per details mentioned in SOP of MoE for regular classes from November 2,”
The letter further stated, “After consultation with stakeholders and details mentioned in the orders, it has been decided that existing practice to call the students of government schools from Class IX to XII on voluntary basis and 50 per cent of the teaching staff on alternate days will continue till October 31, 2020. Schools (government) will follow all instructions issued by the department vide letter dated September 18 and vide letter dated September 25.”
The UT Cadre Educational employee union opposed the move, stating that at least 90 per cent parents had objected to the decision and had said that schools should not be reopened till a vaccine is launched.
“Even students who had given consent for guidance are not coming. At our school, as student who used come earlier has also stopped coming. Despite that, they want to have regular classes from 8 am to 2 pm,” said Swarn Singh Kamboj, President of UT Cadre Educational Employees Union, adding “Moreover, it will be so hectic for the teachers. Because they will attend school also and also provide online classes for those students who choose not to come.”
The President added that most parents had opposed to the reopening following which the decision had to be postponed. “Many teachers have also been infected with COVID-19 and have quarantined themselves. When teachers can be infected, do you think we will able to manage children?” he asked.
MHA guidelines issued on September 30 had stated that online or distance learning should continue as per previous practice.