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Restarting India: Experts discuss impact of COVID-19 on students and entire education system

Updated : September 09, 2020 08:51 PM IST

After staying shut for over five months, the government has allowed partial reopening of schools from September 21st.

The union health ministry in the guidelines released yesterday had permitted schools outside containment zones to be open for classes 9 to 12 and only on a voluntary basis.

Face masks, thermal screening, physical distancing are all mandatory. No morning assemblies, no sports, and no congregations - the experience is likely to be very different.

Currently, many schools and students are attending classes online. But this is not feasible for everyone. According to an NCERT survey, 27 percent students do not have access to laptops and smartphones.

Countries like US, China and European nations have cautiously reopened schools. Most governments feel that a generation of children will lose out on crucial face-to-face teaching if schools stay shut. New York has mandated schools to conduct daily testing and make the results available online.

But, at a time when cases are rising across India, is it safe to open schools? Will parents allow their children to go to school? A survey conducted by LocalCircles a few days back showed that 62 percent of parents will not send their kids to schools in September even if they reopen.

To discuss the Centre's guidelines and the impact of COVID-19 on students, schools and the education system at large, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan spoke to Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu, who is a Lok Sabha MP with YSR Congress; Vidya Yeravdekar, Chair at the FICCI Higher Education Committee and also the pro-chancellor at Symbiosis International University; BVR Mohan Reddy, chairman of the CII Education Council and executive chairman of Cyient; and Sandeep Rai, chief of city operations at Teach For India.
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