Union health ministry has allowed “partial” reopening of the schools for the students of classes 9 to 12 only from September 21, issuing standard operating procedure for resumption of the academic activities.
While only those schools which are outside the containment zones will have permission to partially resume classes for students of classes 9 to 12, students will visit their schools for guidance from their teachers “on a voluntary basis” with written consent of their parents.
Assemblies, sports and other events will remain “strictly prohibited” as they can lead to overcrowding.
“Students of classes 9 to 12 will have the option of attending the classes remotely/virtually or physically only on a voluntary basis for guidance from their teachers subject to written permission of parent/ guardian,” the ministry said on Tuesday, issuing guidelines for partial resumption of the schools.
Such visits and teacher-student interaction “must be” organized in a staggered manner, the ministry said.
“Online or distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged,” the ministry added.
The ministry has also allowed schools to call teaching and non-teaching employees, up to 50% of the strength, for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.
“Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zone,” it said.
Before reopening the classes, according to the health ministry, schools will have to bring in place adequate covid-19 safety measures as per the guidelines.
“All work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations etc, including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces. Daily cleaning of the floors shall be taken up.Provision of soap in toilets and hand sanitizers in other common areas in sufficient quantity must be ensured,” the ministry said.
Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers, shall be disinfected with 70% alcohol wipes.
Schools that were used as quarantine centres will be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before partial functioning is resumed. Instead of biometric attendance alternate arrangements for contactless attendance “shall be” made by the school administration.
“At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distance of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible. Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly,” the ministry said.
Appropriate back-up stock of personal protection items like face covers/masks, visors, hand sanitizers will be made available by the school managements to their teachers and employee.
“Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged,” the ministry said.