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Schools in Delhi to be open again from Sept 1 as Covid recedes

Delhi court allows ED to question Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in custody

Schools in Delhi will reopen from September 1 for Classes 9-12, but no one will be forced to attend classes, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Friday.

However, students will need permission from their parents and no one will be forced to attend classes. Those who do not want to go school will be allowed to continue with online classes.  

Sisiodia, who is also the education minister, said the step has been taken as a Delhi government survey showed that 70 per cent of people wanted schools to reopen.

“We are still working on the protocols. It will be a blended mode of online and in-person classes," he explained.

"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 of the vaccine," he said.

Colleges and coaching institutes 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.

The decisions were cleared at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) following recommendations of an expert committee.

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 Delhi government allowed physical classes only for Classes 9-12 in January this year, but had to shut down schools again due to sudden surge in COVID-19 cases during the devastating second wave that hit the capital. 

The proposal to reopen schools had the community deeply divided on the issue. While those opposing the move expressed concern about a possible third wave. Those in favour of reopening were worried about the loss of learning and setback to the children's growth who have been stuck at home for over a year now.