Covid has forced schools to shut down in several parts of the world and India is no exception. School and other educational institutes are closed for the past 15 months in India, impacting the education of millions of students.

Digital classrooms are indeed organised for students, however, have failed to provide quality education. A slew of factors like the unavailability of smartphones, no internet connection in rural regions and lack of motivation have highly affected the education system in these trying times.

Besides, experts say that studying in a school setting is more critical for a child's growth. The school environment is important for children’s mental and physical development and online classes negatively impact them.

According to the UN, this closure of schools has impacted the education of over 190 million students across the world.

After suffering the devastating second wave of Covid, the number of infections is declining in India. With this several states are preparing to open the schools, some have already announced the reopening and in some states, regular classes have begun.

Is it safe to open schools?

According to epidemiologist Dr. Chandrakant Laharia, there is no scientific evidence that implies the third wave will be more threatening for children. “If we consider the first and second wave, only 10 to 11% of the total severe patients are under the age of 18 years.”

Besides, there is scientific evidence that implies children are at no risk. As per research, the virus attaches to receptors called ACE-2 present in the lungs. In children, these receptors are not fully developed, hence even after infection serious symptoms do not occur in children.

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Offline classes are commenced in these states

Maharashtra

Offline classes began on July 15 in about 5,900 schools in rural areas, from 8th to 12th. All of these schools are based in areas where new corona cases are rare. In these schools, over 4 lakh kids are enrolled. 

The Covid protocol is, nevertheless, being followed in these schools for the safety of the students. For the time being, schools in major cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur will remain closed.

Gujarat

Offline classes for students in the 12th standard began on July 15. Colleges and technical institutes commenced with 50 percent capacity as well. Attending school is optional for students, and parental consent is also required. Online classes will continue for children who do not wish to attend school.

Haryana

Schools for classes 9 to 12 have been open since July 16. Schools for class 6th to 8th will begin on July 23. Only with the written consent of the parents, students will be allowed to attend school. Online classes will continue as well. In the school, it will be necessary to follow the Covid protocol.

Punjab

Students who have received one dose of vaccination at least 15 days prior to the class are permitted to attend offline classes. In Chandigarh, schools are open for classes 9th to 12th since July 19. However, parental consent is required, and online classes will continue.

Bihar 

Degree colleges, government and private universities, and technical institutes reopened with 50% capacity on July 12th along with classes 11th and 12th. In light of Covid situation, the decision to reopen the school for the remaining classes will be released soon. In all educational institutions, the Covid protocol must be followed.

Karnataka

Medical and dental colleges have been reopened in the state. However, students must administer at least one dose of vaccine to attend offline classes. The decision to open other classes will be taken soon.

Himachal Pradesh 

From July 19, schools for classes 9th to 12 have been opened. However, parental consent is required, and online classes will continue.

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Schools are set to open these states

Madhya Pradesh

Schools for classes 11 and 12 will begin on July 26. After August 15, schools for the remaining classes will be opened, with the third wave in mind.

Furthermore, the state is preparing to start offline classes in colleges on August 1st. The capacity of both schools and colleges will be reduced by half. 

Students will be divided into two groups, with each group required to attend school every day. That is, one group of students will attend classes on the first day, while the second group will attend classes the following day.

Odisha

The state administration is preparing to open schools for classes 10 to 12 from July 26. However, online classes will continue for those who do not wish to attend schools.

Andhra Pradesh

The state government has decided to reopen schools on August 16.

So far, no decision is taken to reopen the school in these states

Rajasthan

CM Ashok Gehlot has said that decision to open schools in the state will be taken soon. Several reports suggest that school might reopen from August 1.

Uttar Pradesh

Teachers and other school staff have been ordered to present in school from July 1, however, no decision has been made yet for students. 

Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has refused to open schools in the national capital before the completion of vaccination.

Further, schools will remain closed in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Puducherry.

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