As schools and colleges in Himachal Pradesh are set to reopen from Monday, the government has made it mandatory for students to take consent of parents to attend the classes.

The Director, Higher Education Amarjeet Sharma said the state government had allowed the schools to reopen for regular classes for the students of Class 9th to 12th from 2 November. In addition, colleges will also reopen for regular classes.

“Students may attend the school, colleges only with the written consent of parents. The attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent in the educational institutions,” he added. He further stated that all the educational institutions will follow the standard operating procedure and guidelines for reopening of schools that had been issued by the Union government.

“In case the number of students is more than the capacity of classrooms following physical distancing norms, then the principals or headmaster of the concerned school will permit attendance on alternative days or shifts as per local convenience. However, online studies will also continue,” he added.

An official of the Education department said the state government had directed for thermal scanning, hand wash, sanitizer at all the entry and exit points as well as common places. Further, the authorities had been asked for frequent sanitization of the entire educational institution, common facilities and all points which come into human contact.

He added that school authorities had also been asked to devise mechanisms to ensure social distancing and avoid huge gathering in premises.