Delhi LG asks officials to form expert panel to plan schools reopening in capital

The Delhi government had last week sought feedback from students, teachers and parents about the reopening of schools and has received nearly 35,000 suggestions so far.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday directed officials to set up an expert committee to chalk out a detailed plan for reopening of schools in the national capital, according to sources.

The committee will work on finalising detailed SOPs, assess the preparedness of schools, vaccination of teaching and nonteaching staff and addressing concerns of parents, they said.

The direction was issued at the meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) chaired by Baijal.

“The issue of reopening of schools and educational institutions was deliberated upon in detail at the DDMA meeting on Friday. 

“In accordance with the advise given by experts, it was directed to set up a committee of experts along with officials of the education and health departments to evaluate and finalize a detailed plan comprising SOPs,  preparedness of the schools to adhere to and implement such SOPs, vaccination of teachers and staff of the schools, addressing concerns of parents of the students and the involvement of all stake holders in this decision,” a source said. 

“A decision in this regard will be taken thereafter. The authority also reiterated the need for continuing the test, treat and track strategy, constant vigil and strict enforcement of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour,” the source, who was present at the meeting, added.

The Delhi government had last week sought feedback from students, teachers and parents about the reopening of schools and has received nearly 35,000 suggestions so far.

Delhi was hit by a brutal second wave of coronavirus which claimed a large number of lives daily with shortage of beds and oxygen worsening the situation.

Schools in the national capital were ordered shut last year in March ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

While several states started partial reopening of schools in October last year, the Delhi government allowed physical classes only for grades 9-12 in January this year, which were again suspended following the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Delhi government, however, allowed auditoriums and assembly halls in schools to be used for training and meeting purposes, but physical teaching and learning remains suspended.

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