'Reopen schools in Delhi for all classes phase-wise'

Reopen schools for all classes phase-wise, Delhi Disaster Management Authority recommends

Currently, students of classes 10, 11 and 12 can visit schools for admission and board-exam related activities, with consent of parents

Sisodia had also noted in the meeting that school closures for over a year has led to a major loss of learning. Credit: PTI Photo

An expert committee set up by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has recommended phase-wise reopening of schools in the national capital, according to sources.

In its report submitted on Wednesday, the panel has recommended that schools be reopened for all classes but senior wing students be called in the first phase followed by middle class students and ultimately primary classes, they said.

"The panel has submitted its report today. The recommendations include reopening of schools for all classes but in a phase-wise manner. The report will be studied in detail and a final decision will be taken soon in this regard," a source said.

Currently, students of classes 10, 11 and 12 can visit schools for admission and board-exam related activities, with consent of parents.

Noting that there is no harm now in reopening schools in the national capital, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had on August 6 asked officials to set up an expert committee to chalk out a detailed plan.

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The committee was set up after Deputy CM Manish Sisodia told the DDMA in a meeting chaired by Baijal that at least 90 per cent of the parents, who attended the mega parent-teacher meeting (PTM) at government schools that was held between July 19 and 31, had voted in favour of reopening the schools.

Sisodia had also noted in the meeting that school closures for over a year has led to a major loss of learning.

The committee was tasked with finalising a detailed SOP, assessing preparedness of schools, vaccination of teaching and non teaching staff and addressing concerns of parents.

Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

While several states started partial reopening of schools in October last year, the Delhi government allowed physical classes only for grades 9-12 in January this year, which were again suspended following the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases during the aggressive second wave.

The Delhi government had also allowed auditoriums and assembly halls in schools to be used for training and meeting purposes, but physical teaching and learning remain suspended.

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