Prepare micro-plan for opening schools: Sisodia to principals

New Delhi: Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday directed all Delhi government school principals to prepare a micro-plan for opening the schools, saying common plan cannot go for all schools.

Sisodia, while interacting with over 1,000 Delhi government school principals, said “we cannot have one common plan for all schools to re-open them this year”, as he asked them to start the planning process for re-opening of schools, whenever a decision is taken in this regard.

“The reason we are following an elaborate planning process is because we need to keep many factors in mind before taking a decision. It is not just about maintaining social distancing or sanitisation alone or calling one set of classes to school and not the others. Any decision will have far reaching implications on children and their families because school is an integral part of our social life. It is not just about learning a few lessons from the textbooks but the lessons of life itself. Therefore, any plan should keep in mind all possible situations,” Sisodia said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown has caused closure of schools since March. From May 11, the summer break was announced, which will end on June 30.

Sisodia, also the Deputy Chief Minister, said the agenda of his meeting was two-fold — “How should we stay connected with our children and their parents in this time when lockdown is impacting different people differently? This will help us to directly understand their situation and prepare better?”

Also, that “how do we plan the reopening of schools whenever we get the go ahead.”

“First, reach out to all children through phone to see if they are in Delhi or have gone back to their native place. Also check if they were able to use online classes, SMS/IVR and what is their feedback about it. Second, start the planning process for reopening of the school based on the context of your own school,” the Education Minister said.

Sisodia appealed to the school heads to lead an in-depth brainstorming at school level involving all key stakeholders and come up with a micro-plan on how to lead the transition when the time comes.

“We cannot have a common plan to re-open for all schools this year as the context of every school is different.”

Planning the reopening of school is a challenging task because apart from academic we have to keep many other factors in mind, he said.

“This includes health, safety, trust, emotional well being, and so on. And the other challenge is that all these have to be done without extra financial resources from the government.”

On Tuesday, the government issued a ‘Preparatory Planning Framework for Heads of Schools’.

Explaining the planning framework, the Deputy Chief Minister said, it has 3 broad components — “What we need to keep in mind before we reopen the schools, What we need to put in place before schools starts as this will require planning backwards; and what is the basis on which school makes its plan?”