Delhi schools: Class 9-12 to reopen next week, class 6-8 the week after

New Delhi: Schools in Delhi are likely to reopen from next week in a staggered manner with high schools opening first, followed by upper primary schools. Primary schools up to class 5 and pre-schools will continue to function online for the time being.

According to the sources, the high schools will be reopening from 1 September, Wednesday. Formal communication is expected to be issued soon. “Schools in Delhi to re-open in a phased manner. Classes for std 9 to 12 will begin from 1 September. Classes for std 6 to 8 will begin from 8 September,” news agency ANI reported on Friday.

The decision comes days after an expert panel advised the Delhi government to reopen schools. In the last four weeks, several states have already opened physical schooling especially for senior secondary and secondary students.

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Delhi government had been sceptical about reopening of the schools amid lack of vaccines but there is a strong possibility that vaccine will be available for children aged 12 years and above by September end.

Delhi has been very strict in its policy of reopening schools stating that without vaccinating teachers and students it will be tough to reopen schools. It has maintained that teachers and students’ safety is a priority and was among the few states who were against conducting CBSE board exams, which were later cancelled.

The union government on Wednesday announced that it seeks to vaccinate all teachers before Teachers’ Day on 5 September and will supply an additional 20 million doses to the states’ quota for August.

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Schools and colleges were reopened by several states including Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat and Punjab in a phased manner.

Experts have been demanding the reopening of schools at least for senior students as closure of schools since March 2020 has led to negative learning environment and drop out of students.

Even UNESCO urged countries to prioritise teachers in their inoculation drive. “While the protection of teachers is essential for schools to reopen safely, just 21 out of 197 countries—accounting for 18 million primary and secondary teachers—prioritized teachers in the first phase of vaccination efforts. Another 37 countries included teachers as a priority group for the second phase of vaccinations,” the UN body had said earlier this year.

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