Yet to finalise on reopening of schools: Education minister

SOP is for partial reopening of schools and not for regular classes, minister Th Radheshyam stated.

Manipur Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam on Friday said the state education department is yet to decide on the reopening of classes from September 21, for students from class 9 to 12.  

The minister stated this while briefing the media at his office chamber situated at the new secretariat, Imphal. Several rounds of meetings and conferences were held with stakeholders on the feasibility, criteria and steps that may be needed for reopening of school, he said.

The minister noted that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was issued by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Directorate General of Health Services (EMR Division), Government of India – ‘SOP for partial reopening of Schools for students of 9th to 12th classes on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers: In the context of COVID-19’.

However, Radheshyam stated that the SOP is for partial reopening of schools and not for regular classes. It is purely on a voluntary basis, that is, if the students of classes 9 to 12 are willing to go to school voluntarily and that there is no compulsion that students must attend school, he said.

The Education minister further said that parents also have to give their consent in writing if their wards; children are willing to attend school. There will be no regular classes and that it is just for guidance on topics that the students want to understand, he added.  

The minister stressed that there is no decision on reopening of school in the state from September 21. He also expressed, it is very unfortunate that the misinformation on reopening of schools have created confusion and anguish among the parents, students' and teachers’ fraternity.  

The minister reiterated that the decision on reopening of schools will be taken up in a meeting with the chief minister and stakeholders’ taking into account the current situation of COVID – 19 in the state. He added that until the state government issues SOP for reopening of the schools in the state, no educational institutions, and students’ hostels are authorized to resume classes

(with inputs from DIPR).

First Published:Sept. 11, 2020, 11:55 p.m.

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