New Delhi: Students would need written consent from their parents before attending classes at school, while attendance would not be made mandatory, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.
"The guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs state students may attend school only with the written consent of parents and that attendance will not be enforced upon the students," he said during his weekly online interaction "Sunday Samvaad".
The Minister also said that it would be mandatory for schools that are allowed to open to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the government.
The Union Education Ministry on Saturday released guidelines for reopening of educational institutions, holding that schools, colleges and other institutions can open outside containment zones after October 15. However, the decision on reopening educational institutions has been left in the hands of states/UTs concerned.
The Ministry has also asked schools and coaching centres to encourage online learning, if the students decide not to come to schools due to the fear of Covid-19.
Harsh Vardhan also urged the parents to ensure well-lit rooms for the children who are taking online classes, to prevent strain on their eyes while using devices like laptops, mobiles or computers, while noting that a limit has been set for the screen time of online classes.
The limit of screen time set for the nursery level is 30 minutes, 90 minutes for students of Classes 1 to 8 and 3 hours for students from Classes 9 to 12, he said.
"For nursery level, parents will be guided to assist the kids and this class will be of 30 minutes; students from Class 1 to 8 will be allowed to take two sessions of not more than 45 minutes each, and four sessions not more than 45 minutes each for students from class 9 to 12," he said.