Over 4 Lakh Sign Petition Against Opening Schools Without Vaccine

Days after the Ministry of Home Affairs said that schools and colleges could be opened under phase II in July this year, over 4.5 lakh people have signed a Change.org petition, demanding that children not be sent to schools “for their own safety” till a COVID-19 vaccine is developed or the number of cases in a state comes down to zero.

"“Opening of schools in July will be the worst decision by the government. It’s insane. It’s like playing with fire when we ought to douse it with full force. The parents should fight against this stupidity with tooth n nail, not a single child to be sent to the schools for their own safety.”" - As mentioned in the petition.

The petition also suggests that the current academic session should be continued online, as quite a few schools have shifted online.

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On 30 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that schools, colleges and other educational institutions would be reopened after consultations with different states.

While asking states to engage parents and other stakeholders in these discussions, the MHA added that a decision on the matter would be taken in July, after receiving information from state governments.

The MHA also added that schools will only be reopened after detailed guidelines on social distancing from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Karnataka has proposed to reopen schools in a staggered manner, from 1 July, reports The News Minute.

According to this proposal, classes 4-7 could resume from July 1, while classes 8-10 could resume from 15 July. Further, splitting classes between two shifts and calling students on alternate days are among a series of mesures suggested by Karnataka.

Meanwhile, the NCERT, in its report to the Human Resource Ministry had suggested that schools could reopen for classes 8-12 in Green and Orange zones, as and when the lockdown is lifted. The NCERT had proposed that only one-third of the students be called in, while exempting those below the seventh grade.

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