Even as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the country and various states are imposing lockdowns, the Department of School Education and Literacy, part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has sent out a letter to states and Union Territories to furnish a feedback from parents of school going children as to when they would be comfortable with reopening of schools — August, September or October 2020.
The ministry has given a three-day deadline to the states (including Saturday and Sunday) to provide the feedback. In a letter dated July 17 (Friday), addressed to the education secretaries of all states and Union Territories, the ministry requested them to, “Furnish the feedback of parents of school going children…. by 20.07.2020 (Monday) positively.” The two specific questions that the ministry has sought responses to are: (a) What is the likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools — August/ September/ October 2020; and (b) What are the parents’ expectations from schools as and when they reopen.
While an official in the department confirmed that the letter was sent to states on Friday, email, SMS and call to the secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, went unanswered. While the deadline for parents’ feedback has been fixed as Monday, it seems many schools are not yet aware about the same. A principal with a Kendriya Vidyalaya in Delhi said that she has not received any mail regarding any feedback till now. She, however, said that in a meeting of Principals of Kendriya Vidyalaya two weeks back, the unanimous view was that parents are not in favour of opening the schools as of now.
A senior official in the education department in Uttar Pradesh said, “I am not aware of any such letter. But we took such feedback from parents in the first week of this month and we found that more than 80 per cent of the parents are not in favour of opening the schools as of now. Once we receive the letter, we will respond with this feedback,” he said. The Unlock-2 guidelines announced on June 29 by the Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered the schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions to remain closed till July 31, 2020.