The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to open up higher secondary schools and colleges in the state with 50 per cent capacity from July 26.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday that the schools will be opened for students of class 10, 11 and 12 and classes will be conducted four days a week. Students for each class will be divided into two batches; which effectively means that each student will attend classes only twice a week.
Chouhan, while speaking to media persons after attending a programme of RSS affiliate Vidya Bharti, said that similar arrangements will be made for the college students. And later, depending on the COVID-19 situation and if the people continue to follow appropriate behaviour, schools for class 9 and 10, then from 6-8 and later for students from class 1 onwards will be opened up in phases.
The chief minister said that the decision to open up schools/colleges is being taken in view of the fact that COVID-19 situation was almost totally in control in the state. “We are keeping a keen eye on the situation. Currently average 20 cases per day are being reported in the state and the active case average is about 250. We are also preparing to deal with a possible third wave,” he said.
Chouhan added that meanwhile, students in the state are not able to get proper education due to long closure of schools and colleges. “Online or virtual classes are not the same as actual classes. There is no proper interaction and children are getting frustrated. Also school management bodies are troubled. It is therefore necessary to start the process to open up the schools,” the CM said.
The state government has already relaxed almost all COVID-19 related restrictions. Now the markets and commercial establishments including malls, restaurants, hotels and others are open for full time. Cinema halls have also been allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity. Also the number of those allowed to attend marriages and funerals has been raised to 100 and 50 respectively.
Crowds have returned to streets and public places, but COVID-19 appropriate behaviours like wearing of masks and maintaining physical distance is hardly being followed. State Congress chief Kamal Nath, while saying that by restricting all norms, the government had left people to fend for themselves, had urged people to take care of themselves.