Amid the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational institutions across India were forced to shut down for an indefinite duration. Whilst the nation witnessed the rise in the number of fatalities, an abrupt nationwide lockdown was imposed by the government to curb the spreading of coronavirus pandemic. The imposition of lockdown not only led to the closure of educational institutions but also impacted the ongoing board exams across the country. The major educational boards like CBSE, ICSE, including state educational boards, were compelled to postpone the then ongoing board exams.
Based on the reports, all the educational institutions in India were notified by the state and central government to shut down from mid-March. Yet some of the educational institutions remained open until 24th March when 21days nationwide lockdown was announced. Amid the upswing of the pandemic, an unanticipated announcement of lockdown put on the advent for fresh fear; fear for the future of children with respect to education.
Impact of coronavirus pandemic on education in India
1. While the schools and colleges continue to remain shut down due to the indefinite imposed lockdown, the rapid spread of the pandemic compelled the withdrawal of the then ongoing board exams too.
2. Further, a hefty figure of 33 crore students in India was affected by the lockdown. It’s no need for an explanation of the loss of learning due to the unexpected lockdown inflicted by the government and the pandemic.
3. In the meantime, the authorities failed to decide on any specific dates for the continuity of the pending board exams. Therefore, the reopening of schools and colleges in such a deadly situation became a distant fantasy.
4. Bound by the unusual norms of lockdown, social distancing, including the remote working culture the internet became the only source of information about the outside world.
5. Throughout the lockdown, fake news surfaced on the internet regarding the cancellation of board exams, modification of board exam dates, etc., incited the anxiety and exasperation amid the students.
6. Thanks to the internet again! The fake information was brought to immediate control via the legitimate statement made through the official websites, twitter, etc.
HRD on reopening of all educational institutions in India by August 2020
Based on recent news updates, all the educational institutions in India is likely to reopen by the month of August. In a recent interview with BBC, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Nishank Pokhriyal stated that schools and colleges in India are possible to reopen after 15th August 2020. In his statement, he specified the authorities are waiting for the approval from MHA regarding the decision to start again the education normally.
Over the last few weeks, a column of media candidly reported regarding the reopening of schools and colleges by the month of July. Fearing the risk of the infection amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases, parents, students including the public raised an objection regarding the opening of schools and colleges in July.
It was further reported that all educational institutions will reopen as normal, starting from Green-Zones followed by Orange-Zones across the country. Forthwith, the statement by the HRD Minister has confirmed the reopening of educational institutions in August 2020. His statement has well addressed the confusion of parents, the public, students, and as well of the media.
HRD Minister Pokhriyal reassured the skepticism of students and parents by further declaring that the authorities are making an effort to declare the results before the reopening of institutions, i.e., before the 15th of August 2020.
He added that the schools and colleges will be allowed to reopen being sure of the least or zero impact of COVID-19. Only Green and Orange zones will be authorized to reopen first.
Here are a few important conditions and guidelines to be observed and followed by school and college authorities, teachers including students:
1. Every institution should maintain and abide by strict social distancing norms.
2. Accordingly, each teacher should wear a protective face mask. So should students.
3. Thermal scanners should be installed in every school.
4. Only two students should be permitted to sit on 3-seater benches.
5. Mandatory installation of safety guidelines in various spots in schools and colleges by the school and college authorities.