A group called "Parents Association" has started an online petition on Change.org to convince the Central government to keep schools and colleges shut even after June 30 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Opening of schools in July will be the worst decision by the Govt. It's insane. It's like playing with fire when we ought to douse it with full force. The parents should fight against this stupidity with tooth and nail, not a single child to be sent to the schools for their own safety," the petition reads.
The petition also recommends that e-learning should continue in educational institutions for the rest of the academic year. According to the parents, if this mode has worked out in the past few months, there is no need to change that in the upcoming weeks.
Educational institutions in the country have been closed since March, with most of them resorting to online classes via Zoom and other video conferencing applications to complete the syllabus. Examinations, including ICSE, CBSE and other board exams, also had to be postponed for the same.
On May 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a new set of guidelines for "unlocking India" as the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown came to an end on Sunday. These guidelines permit phased re-opening of all activities outside the containment zone while extending the lockdown till June 30.
The government has reserved the decision on restarting academic activities in schools, colleges and educational institutions for July 2020 after taking feedback from stakeholders.
Later the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will prepare Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) for these institutions on restarting and re-opening schools and colleges.
However, this did not sit well with Indian parents who believe that sending their wards to school or college might expose them to the virus. The petition claims that educational institutions should remain shut till the country doesn't have a single coronavirus case or till vaccines are out.
The central government, however, has stated that the final decision will be taken depending on the states. For example, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that the final-year students in the state would be promoted on the basis of an aggregate marking system and that final exams would be cancelled.
The petition has gone viral on social media and as of now, over 2.5 lakh people have signed it.