Re-opening of schools, colleges depends on COVID situation: Govt

NEW DELHI: The government will take a decision on reopening of schools and colleges on April 14 after reviewing the coronavirus situation in the country, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Sunday.

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In an interview to PTI, he said the safety of students and teachers is of utmost importance to the government and his ministry is prepared to ensure there is no academic loss to students if schools and colleges needed to remain shut beyond April 14.

“It is difficult to take a decision at the moment. We will review the situation on April 14 and depending upon the circumstances, a decision will be taken on whether schools and colleges can be reopened now or have to be closed for more time,” Mr Pokhriyal said when asked about his Ministry’s post-lockdown plan.

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The 21-day nationwide lockdown ends on April 14. There have been indications from the government that the lockdown may not be extended. However, classes in schools and colleges were already suspended before the lockdown was announced.

“The classes are already being conducted online using various government platforms like Swayam. We are prepared to ensure there is no academic loss to students if need arises to keep schools, colleges closed after April 14.

“I am regularly reviewing the plan of action being followed by schools and colleges during the lockdown. A plan is also ready for conducting pending exams and evaluation as soon as the situation improves and the lockdown is lifted,” Nishank said.

Meanwhile, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to conduct only the important pending examinations of annual board examinees.

The Board will announce the exam dates for the remaining subjects 10 days in advance, it said in a release. 

In a notification released on April 1, the CBSE has said that in the current situation prevailing in the country it is difficult to announce a new schedule for the pending exams. It also said that it will give notice of about 10 days before starting the exams.

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