After almost three months of lockdown, the government is devising a plan to reopen schools by dividing the number of in-school learning days between ‘active learning hours’ at home and 100 days at school.
The studying model in India currently consists of 220 working days and 1,320 hours of in-school classes. However, sources reveal that the new framework will cut down the classes to 100 days (600 hours) and the remaining will be compensated with the ‘active learning hours’ at home once the schools reopen.
The schools will also allocate the remaining 120 hours (20 days) for counselling sessions to ensure the positive mental health and emotional wellbeing of children.
During a live interaction with teachers via video-conferencing, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said: “We have asked NCERT to prepare guidelines for re-opening schools and they have done most of the work. The guidelines suggest various things like calling 30 per cent students at a time. If 30 percent students have to be called in at a time, we will have to see how that needs to work out.”
The ministry is considering opening schools with a staggered attendance system - either allowing students to attend classes in double shifts or on alternative days. Under any circumstances, the students attending school at any one time would likely be reduced by up to 50 percent.
Under the new normal, the schools will incorporate measures such as having no assembly sessions, seminars and gatherings. The schools would be asked to include measures such as wearing masks, following social distancing norms and seating arrangements with fewer students in a class.
The schools would also be asked to focus on the children, who do not have access to online learning facilities and other learning tools and children with physical disabilities.