Government and private schools in the country that had been shut for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been gradually reopening as per the SOPs released by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
While schools have been allowed to reopen, several states and Union territories are yet to resume normal classes and plan on doing so from January 2021. Also, most of these states and UTs will be reopening schools only for higher classes such as classes 9 to 12, as the students need to prepare for board exams and have the maximum academic burden.
Here is a list of states that are reopening schools in January 2021 to resume normal classes:
In Assam schools are reopening for students of all classes from January 1, 2021. In fact, the Assam government has announced that all educational institutes will be allowed to function normally from January as the coronavirus situation in the state is now under control.
In Karnataka, schools will be reopening for students of classes 6 to 12 from January 1. Attendance will not be compulsory and students looking to attend classes will have to obtain letter of consent signed by their parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In the Union territory of Puducherry, schools will reopen from January 4. At first, only half-day classes will be held; full-day classes will begin from January 18.
In Maharashtra’s Pune, schools will be reopening from January 4 for students of classes 9 to 12. However, the civic body of Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai has announced that no school in the city will reopen till January 15, 2021.
The Bihar government has allowed schools to reopen for students of classes 9 to 12 from January 4. Coaching centres, degree colleges, medical colleges, and engineering colleges are also reopening in Bihar in January 2021.
The Kerala government has decided to reopen schools, colleges, and other educational institutes in the first week of January. Initially, only fifth and sixth semester college students will be allowed to attend classes. The classes for other semesters will resume gradually.
Notably, states like Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, and Odisha have already reopened schools for students of higher classes.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here