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Delhi schools reopening: Some parents welcome govt’s decision, others differ

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NEW DELHI: A section of parents in the national capital on Wednesday welcomed the Delhi government’s decision to allow schools to reopen for students of classes 10 and 12, while others felt it is unsafe to resume classroom learning before a vaccine against COVID-19 is available.

The Delhi government has allowed schools to reopen for students of classes 10 and 12 from January 18. However, the government has directed that students are not bound to come and attendance is completely optional. Those welcoming the decision said that it will give students the opportunity to clarify their doubts and get into the exam mode before board exams begin in May.

“Students have been homebound for over 10 months. It’s time they go out with due precautions and get into the preparatory mode,” said Samvit Jha, a parent of a class-12 student and an architect by profession.

According to Nimit Sharma, the Delhi government should have stuck to its earlier plan of not reopening schools till a vaccine is available.

“Earlier they said the schools will not reopen till vaccine is available and now when we are almost close to getting one, they are calling students. The exams are five months away,” he said. Echoing his concerns, Preeti Dhull said, “Though it’s optional for students to go they will feel compelled due to peer pressure. This will create unnecessary fear of missing out among students and they would want to go despite less requirement.”

Saloni Yadav, a chartered accountant, welcomed the government decision. “This was very important at this stage because students will not be confident before exams otherwise. They have not gone to a classroom even once in the academic session. They have to write exams there, it will prepare them not just academically but also mentally and emotionally,” she said.

While her son is appearing for class 10 exams this year, her daughter is in class 12. “Also parents who are not comfortable can choose not to send their children. It’s optional,” she said. Schools have been closed in Delhi since March last year when a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the spread of COVID-19. While several states have reopened schools partially after October last year, the Delhi government was firm on not reopening before the vaccine is available.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct board exams for classes 10 and 12 from May 4 to June 10. However, the date sheet for the exams has not been announced yet. Over 3 lakh students have registered from the Delhi region for the Class 10 CBSE board exam while over 2.5 lakh candidates have registered for the Class 12 exam.

The Delhi government had suggested that schools conduct pre-board exams for class 12 from March 20 to April 15 and Class 10 pre-board exams from April 1 to April 15.



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Education

tn school reopen: With TN classes X, XII set to start from tomorrow, health dept insists on screening students, faculty

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CHENNAI: With classes for tenth and plus two students in Tamil Nadu set to commence from tomorrow, the state health department has directed its officials to compulsorily screen students and faculty for Coronavirus within a week.

Also, the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine mandated cleaning of school premises by local body/school management besides the creation of sufficient hand washing facilities and following the SOPs without any deviation.

The officials should share the Information
Education and Communication materials with the school management, the DPH said.

The Deputy Directors of Health should use the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram teams to screen the tenth and twelfth standard students and faculty including checking for co-morbidities.

Primary health centre (PHC) teams could be mobilised if required, and they should be equipped to handle suspected symptomatic children as per SOPs.

Details on the Mobile Medical Units available at block level should be shared with schools to contact them in case of emergency.

Vitamin C, multivitamin tablets and other immuno- boosters should be given to children, the DPH said.



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Board Exams 2021, JEE, NEET UG to be based on reduced syllabus: Education minister

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NEW DELHI: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Monday announced that the students will be asked questions in the upcoming board exams 2021 and entrance exams on the basis of the revised syllabus. The Education Minister while in a virtual interaction with the teachers and students of Kendriya Vidyalaya announced that the engineering entrance test — JEE Main 2021, and medical entrance test — NEET 2021, will also be held on the basis of the reduced syllabus.

Most of the state education boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have already reduced the syllabus of Class 10 and Class 12 for this year considering the hardships students were facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The students will only have to study the revised syllabus for their CBSE board exams and other exams based upon CBSE board syllabus 2021 such as (Joint Entrance Examination (JEE 2021) and National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET)). The questions will only be asked from that portion,” said education minister during the webinar.

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examinations is scheduled to be conducted between May 4 and June 10. while the 2021 practical exams will begin from March 1.

The JEE Main 2021 will be held in four sessions — February, March, April and May. The JEE Main 2021 February session will be held between February 23 and February 26. The exam schedule for NEET 2021 has not been announced yet.



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delhi school reopen: Delhi govt directs officials not to rope in teachers for field work other than COVID duty

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NEW DELHI: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday directed that teachers of Delhi government schools be not roped in for any administrative duty as schools for classes 10 and 12 reopened.

“Teachers of Delhi government have been at the forefront of COVID-related duties ever since the first lockdown in March, 2020. They have rendered their services whenever the District Administration asked them to do so.

“In fact, as late as current month, they have also been involved in the door-to-door survey, enforcement of COVID protocol, screening at airport, and many of them have also been engaged in activities related to coronavirus vaccination trials,” he said in an official order.

“Due to the unprecedented, once in a life-time nature of the pandemic, it was a collective responsibility of every official of Delhi government, including teachers, to perform emergency COVID-related duties. However, considering the upcoming board examinations, the Delhi Government has decided to commence special classes, including practical examinations, pre-board examinations for class 10 and 12 students from January 18,” the minister said.

Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s
education minister, further directed that discretion is necessary in summoning the services of the teachers so that
education activities, which the teachers are originally mandated to discharge, are not seriously disrupted.

“Our teachers are providing online support to students of all classes–KG to class 12–and engaging with their parents on regular basis. Therefore, going forward, discretion is necessary in summoning the services of the teachers so that
education activities, which the teachers are originally mandated to discharge, are not seriously disrupted.

“It has been seen that the district authorities are summoning the services of specific Teachers, Vice-Principals and Principals of the Directorate of
Education (DoE) directly without any consultation with the Directorate. Considering the importance of
education as well as the emergency related COVID duties, the district officials are directed not to summon the services of any teacher for any other administrative or field related work, other than COVID related duties,” he said.

The minister has said that if in any emergency situation the district authorities feel the necessity of deploying teachers, then prior permission from him shall be mandatory for engagement of teachers in such work.

“For COVID-related duties, the DoE also understands the collective responsibility and the services of teachers can be utilized by the district authorities, however, they shall not summon any teacher by name. They shall submit their requirement to the Directorate, which will further provide required number of teaching personnel keeping balance between academic requirement and COVID duties.

“It has been brought to my notice that about 20,000-25,000 teachers are currently posted with district authorities for COVID-related duties. Considering the importance of
education and the present status of COVID situation in Delhi, district authorities to substantially scale down the present level of deployment and direct the teachers to report back to schools for their regular duties,” the order added.

Schools in Delhi reopened on Monday for class 10 and 12 students after over 10 months of being closed in view of coronavirus.



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