Mamata Banerjee on reopening of schools: Decision after mid-November

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 30th September 2020 ruled out; any possibility of schools in the state reopening anytime soon. She said that her government will take a decision on the issue not before mid-November.

A new set of guidelines were issued by the Home Ministry yesterday were it permitted more activities outside the containment zones including opening up of cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes with only 50 percent of their seating capacity from 15th October 2020. The decision is brought up under the process of Unlock 5.0; and with this government is trying to bring things one more step closer to the state of normalcy.

The government of all the states and Union Territories have been provided; with the flexibility to decide on reopening schools and other educational institutions after 15th October 2020; in a graded manner. Ministry of Health and Affairs has also permitted social, religious, and political gathering beyond the limit of 100 persons, subject to certain conditions. Though, the cases are still surging high in the country; we don’t know about the results of this leniency by the government. At the same time, it is also necessary; to make things normal step-by-step.

Mamata Banerjee in an administrative review meeting; in North Bengal said a decision in regard to school reopening; would be taken after Kali puja on 14th November. All schools have been shut in Bengal since March 16. She said, “Any decision on reopening of schools will be taken after Kali puja.”

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It was earlier when the state education minister Partha Chatterjee informed that West Bengal would prefer waiting for the pandemic to slow down as it was not in favour of “exposing its students to health risks” by reopening schools and beginning with the classes. Banerjee also said in the meeting that 50 acres in North Bengal have been allotted to Coach Behar Panchanan Barma University for its second campus. She added, “Work for the second campus will start soon.”

While states like Assam and Madhya Pradesh; have already partially reopened the schools in their respective states on a voluntary basis. Students from classes 9 to 12 can attend classes in shifts as per the guidelines.

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