New Delhi: Schools in Delhi will reopen from September 1 for Classes 9-12, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Friday, adding that students will need parents’ permission and no one will be forced to attend the classes thanks to a hybrid system.
“About 70 per cent of people wanted schools to reopen, according to a Delhi government survey. We are still working on the protocols. It will be a blended mode of online and in-person classes,” Mr Sisodia, also the Education Minister, said.
“Given that Covid cases have come down and the positivity rate is just 0.1 per cent, we feel we can open schools now. Almost 98 per cent of staff in Delhi schools have had at least one dose,” he said.
Colleges and coaching institutes or the senior school students will also be allowed to reopen from September 1, Mr Sisodia said, adding that a decision on Classes below 9 will be taken after another round of feedback.
Friday’s set of decisions were cleared at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) following recommendations of an expert committee set up by the panel.
In its report submitted on Wednesday, the committee had recommended that students from senior classes should be called in the first phase followed by the middle-grade students and ultimately the primary classes.
The committee had also said that willing parents should have the option of sending their child to school and others can opt for online classes.
Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
While several states started partial reopening of schools in October last year, the Delhi government allowed physical classes only for Classes 9-12 in January this year, which were again suspended following the surge in COVID-19 cases during the devastating second wave.