New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: After remaining close for nearly 6 months, schools across India will reopen from October 15 in a 'graded manner'. The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued guidelines for Unlock 5.0 last month, allowing schools and educational institutions to reopen in October.

However, the Union Home Ministry has clarified that it is not mandatory for schools to reopen from October 15 and states and union territory (UT) governments have the power to take a decision accordingly.

"Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so," the Home Ministry had said.

With Home Ministry's nod, the Ministry of Education has now released the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of schools, colleges and educational institutions from October 15 in a 'graded manner'.

What the guidelines for reopening of schools and institutions from October 15?

1. Online and distance learning should be preferred and encouraged

2. If students prefer to attend online classes, they may be permitted to do so

3. Students can attend schools only with the written consent of their parents and guardians

4. States and UT governments need to prepare their own SOPs based on the Education Ministry SOP, keeping the local requirements in view

5. Schools which decide to reopen will need to mandatorily follow the SOP issued by the state education departments

What the guidelines for reopening of colleges and higher education institutions from October 15?

1. Online and distance learning should be preferred and encouraged

2. Colleges and higher education institutions can reopen only for PhD research scholars and PG students in science and technology streams requiring experimental or lab work permitted on the following basis:

* For Centrally Funded HEIs, the head of the institution has to satisfy himself/herself on the requirement of lab/experimental works

* Other HEIs like state universities, private universities etc, may reopen only for lab/experimental works as per the decision of the respective states or UTs

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma