Schools in Telangana to reopen from September 1

Hyderabad: Even as there is a difference of opinion among parents and the issue of reopening schools is now before the Supreme Court, the State Government has decided to reopen all schools above eighth class from September 1. While classes up to seventh will continue with online classes. Orders will be issued by Monday.

Officials of the Education department said that they are reviewing the situation in districts like Nalgonda, Khammam, Yadadri- Bhongir and Bhadradri- Kothagudem where the corona cases were still on the higher side. These districts may be exempted from reopening of schools. The spread of Covid-19 in the border districts of Suryapet, Wanaparthy, Medak, Adilabad and Nizamabad was also under close watch. The government feels that normalcy in these districts would return by September 1.

It may be mentioned here that the schools were reopened for 10 days in May. But following the second wave, they were shut down from May 12 and online classes were being held for students of all classes. Engineering and medical colleges were permitted to conduct practical exams through physical attendance of 50 per cent of the students every day.

Officials said that they had received representations from schools, students and parents that online classes were putting avoidable stress on the students and that the schools be reopened. They said most of the government schools do not have proper facilities for online education. Moreover, even the Parliamentary committee had recommended that the schools be reopened. According to them, only bigger private schools had opposed the move as they have all the facilities for conducting online classes.

Though Minister for Education Sabitha Indra Reddy said that all necessary precautions will be taken before reopening the schools. “All health protocols will be followed once the schools start functioning,” she said.

The reaction from parents and the medical fraternity has been a mixed one. Some feel that the government should have waited for some more time since experts have warned of a possible third wave.

A decision on the reopening of residential welfare schools and junior colleges would be taken only if no Covid cases were reported from the day scholar institutions for at least after two weeks of functioning of the institutions. Initially, only 50 per cent of the strength in each class will be permitted to attend the classes daily in the schools.

The Education department in consultation with the Health department is making arrangements to supply adequate face masks and sanitisers to students in the government institutions.

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