The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday came up with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for partial reopening of schools for students of Class IX-XII to take guidance from their teachers on a voluntary basis.
“Schools outside the containment zones only shall be allowed to open. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school,” an official release on the SOPs said.
Prior to resumption of activities, all work related to teaching/demonstrations etc, including laboratories and other common utility areas, would have to be sanitised with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces, it added.
Online learning to continue
All schools (with classes IX to XII) should specifically ensure that online/distance learning is permitted and encouraged. “The concerned teaching and non-teaching employees (up to 50 per cent of the strength) may be called to schools for online teaching/tele-counselling and related work,” the release added. Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.
According to the SOPs, at all times, the teachers and students should maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet, wherever feasible.
Appropriate back-up of personal protection items such as face covers/masks, hand sanitisers must be made available to the teachers and employees.
At the entrance, provision must be made for hand hygiene and thermal screening. Multiple/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.
Posters/standees on preventive measures about Covid-19 would have to be displayed prominently, it added.
“If transportation facility is being managed by the school, proper physical distancing, sanitisation of buses/other transport vehicles (with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite) shall be ensured,” said the statement.
It also mentioned that the teachers, school counsellors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of the students.