Unlock 5.0: MP govt puts reopening of primary, middle schools on hold
Bhopal, Oct 11: As the threat of coronavirus still looms large, the Madhya Pradesh government has put on hold reopening of primary and middle schools in the state for now, school educational minister Inder Singh Parmar said.
Madhya Pradesh has been reporting at least 1,600 COVID-19 cases every day and the state government seems reluctant to add to the existing health crisis.
In its fresh set of guidelines issued recently, the Centre said schools, colleges and other educational institutions can reopen outside containment zones from October 15, and left the decision to implement the same on the state governments and Union Territories.
"We are not going to take the risk of reopening primary (Classes 1 to 5) and middle (Classes 6 to 8) schools after October 15 for now," Parmar told PTI.
Reopening schools for primary and middle classes is too risky and if something happens to a child, the state government will be at the receiving end, he said.
The state has partially reopened schools for Classes 9 to 12 with limited students since September 21 amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, he said, adding that the government may consider increasing the strength of these classes gradually. Schools for the higher classes resumed partially with consent from parents, the minister said.
The state has around 1.50 lakh schools, including private ones. While the state government seems concerned that reopening of schools may trigger a spate of infections, the primary concern of parents is the safety of their children.
"Come what may, I am not going to send my daughter to school as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state," said Anup Dutta, father of a Class 7 student. Many parents are not willing to send their children for partial classes in secondary and higher secondary schools.
According to Bhopal district education officer Nitin Saxena, parents of only 5,000 students out of 40,000 studying in 132 government secondary and higher secondary schools had given consent to send their children for partial classes.