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New Delhi, June 26, 2020
The Delhi government on Friday decided to keep all schools in the city closed till July 31, keeping in mind the coronavirus situation.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the Education portfolio, with the Education Secretary, Director of Education, and other senior officers.
Sisodia had written a letter to Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', early this month, suggesting the steps to see schools in a new role.
The aim of Friday's meeting was to design a plan of action for schools so that whenever they reopen after July, they are well-prepared.
The Directorate of Education had received various suggestions on changing the approach towards reopening of schools. Continuing online classes and activities with the help of parents were agreed upon. The suggestion to cut down the syllabus upto 50 per cent were also discussed.
Sisodia and his team also received various suggestions on changing approaches to learning and reopening of classes in Delhi schools.
"Let us design a plan to reopen schools in a way that would prepare our students to adjust to the new circumstances and not fear them. It would help our students to learn to live with coronavirus," Sisodia said.
One of the suggestions in the meeting was that primary classes should be held once or twice in a week with a strength of 12-15 students in a class.
It was proposed that classes can be conducted on alternate days for students of classes 3 to 5.
Along the same lines, conducting classes once or twice a week for students of classes 6 to 8 was suggested. It was also proposed at the meeting to conduct classes for three days in a week.
For classes 9 and 10, it was suggested to the Education Minister that classes should be taken in very small groups once or twice a week. Some members were of the view that Class 10 students should have classes every day.
It was suggested during the meeting that classes of 11 and 12 should be conducted on alternate days and online classes should be carried on remaining days.
But it was strongly agreed that online classes should not be withdrawn and online library facilities should also continue like before. Videos by the Khan Academy on different subjects for easy learning and understanding of students should also continue.
Continuing with the online classes wherever possible, carrying proper sanitisation work in classrooms, distributing masks to students, thermal screening of every student at the school entrance gate, and reduction of the syllabus were some of the major suggestions given at the meeting.
DoE officials also stressed on reducing the syllabus by 30 to 50 per cent to reduce the burden of the already stressed-out students. There was also a suggestion to ban students' mass activity and crowding.
Some also suggested that only 3 to 4 hours of classes should be conducted per day.