New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: After remaining closed for more than six months due to a Covid-induced lockdown in the state, schools and coaching institutes in Punjab will start functioning in a graded manner from October 15. The Punjab government on Monday announced that it would allow the partial reopening of schools and coaching institutions from 15 October with strict covid protocols.

Students of only classes 9-12 are permitted to attend schools with parental consent and without making attendance compulsory, according to a statement. However, online classes shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and be encouraged.

The schools, which are being allowed to open after 15 October, will have to mandatorily follow the standard operating procedures, to be issued by the School Education Department. Higher educational institutions only for research scholars and post-graduate students in science and technology streams laboratory work are also permitted to open after 15 October, it said.

As per the state education department, schools would be functional for 3 hours every day. Teachers may be called in 2 shifts of 3 hours each where students are more in number. The schools are required to strictly adhere to all SOPs including social distancing, personal hygiene, wearing of masks, and sanitization inside the premises. 

The state government's move comes nearly two weeks after Centre allowed graded reopening of schools from October 15 as part of its unlock 5 guidelines.

According to a survey conducted by LocalCircles to get pulse of the parents on school reopening, a majority of 71 parents will not be sending their children to school in October even if schools reopen. Only 28 per cent parents are in favour of schools reopening in calendar year 2020 while 34 per cent feel they should open only in the next academic year i.e. April 2021

581 new cases were reported in Punjab on Monday taking the infection count to 1,24,535 in the state. The places which reported new coronavirus cases included Jalandhar (82), Ludhiana (62), Mohali (58) and Bathinda (54), as per a health department bulletin. There are now 8,258 active COVID-19 cases in the state, state govt health dept said.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha