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Schools Reopening News: Punjab schools to reopen from October 19 for classes 9th to 12th

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CHANDIGARH: School Education Minister, Punjab Vijay Inder Singla, on Thursday, said that Punjab Government has decided to reopen schools in the areas outside containment zones from October 19 for students of class 9th to 12th.

As per a press statement from Information and Public Relations Department, Punjab, the cabinet minister informed that as the home department has issued guidelines for the reopening of schools in areas outside containment zones, the school education department has also issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the safety of the students.

He added that detailed guidelines on reopening of schools have also been sent to district education officers and school authorities for precise implementation while allowing students to attend physical classes.

Vijay Inder Singla said that after reopening schools, the safety of the students will be the utmost priority of their government and a special team of officers of the education department will be formed to implement SOPs in the schools.

He informed that though the schools were being reopened but the online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and attendance of all students will not be mandatory.

“As the schools are already conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so. The students will be able to attend the physical classes only with the written consent of parents,” the minister said.

Vijay Inder Singla informed that the parents should also ensure that their ward going to school will be wearing a mask and made them aware not to exchange masks with others. He added that the parents should also encourage their ward to wear full-sleeved clothes to minimize the interaction with any public surface.

The education minister said that the schools will open for three hours a day for students and only students of classes 9th to 12th will be called in school. No student of any other class will be called in the school. He added, “If the strength of the students is large in the school and social distancing norms are not maintainable, in that case, School Head/ Management may take a decision whether to hold the classes in two shifts or call the students at alternate days, at their own level.”

Singla said that the staff and students belonging to containment zones shall not attend the school and other educational institutions. He added that as per the recommendations of MoHFW, older, pregnant and other employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions, should preferably not be exposed to any frontline work requiring direct contact with the students.

He said that the authorities will also ensure foot-operated hand washing facilities in the schools and ensure availability of key supplies like contactless thermometers, disinfectants, soaps, etc., and arrange for the availability of these essentials. He added that they will also ensure sanitization of school transport before plying and also ensure social distancing while transportation of students.

The education minister said that the schools will mark the seats of students in classrooms ensuring a distance of a minimum of 6 feet and similarly, social distancing shall also be maintained in the staffrooms, office area, hostels, and other places of public interaction.

He added that the schools will also ensure the installation of posters/messages/stickers and signage at appropriate places reminding students about maintaining social distancing. He said that the schools will not undertake events where social distancing will not be possible. However, school assembly may be conducted by the students in their respective classrooms or outdoor spaces or other available spaces and halls under the guidance of the class teacher.



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Education

maratha reservation news: SC adjourns for 4 weeks Maharashtra govt’s plea against stay on Maratha reservation

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned, for four weeks, the hearing on a plea filed by the Maharashtra government seeking the vacation of its stay on the reservation to the people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the State.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao, adjourned the hearing on the matter for four weeks. When the matter came up for hearing, Justice Rao called on Maharashtra state lawyer to argue the case.

“Where is he (the lawyer)?” Justice Rao had asked as there was nobody from the side of the Maharashtra government, after which the judges passed over the matter to hear it later and then adjourned it for four weeks.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, which had earlier granted a stay on the Maratha reservation, was hearing plea filed by the Maharashtra government challenging the stay on the reservation to the people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state.

The apex court had last month directed that no quota will be granted to people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state this year and referred the hearing on a batch of plea challenging the constitutional validity of a Maharashtra law granting Maratha reservation in education and jobs to a larger bench.

The stay was issued on two appeals, including one filed by J Laxman Rao Patil challenging the Bombay High Court order that upheld the constitutional validity of the quota for the Maratha community in education and government jobs in the state.

The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019, observed that the 50 per cent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

Another appeal filed by advocate Sanjeet Shukla, a representative of ‘Youth for Equality’, said the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, enacted to grant reservation to the Maratha community people in jobs and education, breached the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation fixed by the top court in its judgment in the Indira Sawhney case.



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Unlock 5: MHA extends guidelines till November 30; states to decide on schools

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NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued an order extending the guidelines for ‘re-opening’ the country, issued last month, till November 30.

The MHA extended the earlier guidelines keeping in mind the ongoing coronavirus phase.

“There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements,” the guidelines read.

However, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till November 30, 2020.

Further, the states and union territory governments cannot impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without consulting the Centre.

As per the guidelines, National Directives for Covid-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce Covid-19 appropriate behavior.

Furthermore, states and UTs have been allowed to take the call on reopening of metro rails, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and hospitality services, religious places, yoga and training institutes, gymnasiums, cinemas, and entertainment park, etc.

As of Tuesday, with 36,469 new Covid-19 cases, India’s total cases surged to 79,46,429, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

With 488 new deaths, the toll mounted to 1,19,502, as per the Ministry.

The total active coronavirus cases are at 6,25,857 after a decrease of 27,860 in the last 24 hours. The total cured cases are 72,01,070 with 63,842 new discharges in the last 24 hours.



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Mumbai University IDOL exams go smoothly with 1-hour time slots

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MUMBAI: Mumbai University’s Institute of Open and Distance Learning conducted final exams for arts and commerce students on Monday. The distance education provider segregated students in smaller groups to conduct the exam.

A total of 4,202 or around 84% students appeared for the exams online. In the morning session, BA exam saw 3,049 students and afternoon session (BCom), 1,153. The exams could be taken on any smart phone with a camera, laptop or desktop computer. A four-hour time slot was given for the exam so that all students need not log in at the same time. Students could choose one-hour slots as per convenience. The exams went smoothly, university authorities said.



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