The Ministry of Health and Family welfare has allowed a phased reopening of schools and colleges from September 21. In a notice issued Tuesday, the ministry stated that skill or entrepreneurship training too will be permitted from September 21. The ministry has also allowed the reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12 on a “voluntary basis”.
Only schools outside containment zones will be allowed to reopen from September 21 for senior students of Classes 9 to 12, according to the directives. However, students, teachers and staff members living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend school.
“Prior to resumption of activities, 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,” the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) announced by the Health Ministry states.
Attendance for students will be voluntary and only to seek guidance from teachers. Online classes will continue. Those attending school will have to wear masks compulsorily. “This will be subject to the written consent of their parents/guardians. Such visits and teacher–student interaction must be organized in a staggered manner,” the SOP states.
Even for guidance, all senior students will not report to school together. Guidance activities will be staggered with students being allocated specific time for reporting.
All entry points to the schools will have hand sanitisers and thermal screening for temperature. To ensure that physical distancing of six feet is maintained, schools have been asked to draw markings on the floor in staff rooms, office areas, the mess, library, cafeteria and also design classroom seating accordingly.
Upon reopening, morning assembly, sports and any event or activity that could lead to crowding will not be allowed. Sharing of items such as class notes and stationery amongst students will also be prohibited.
All educational institutions in the country have been closed since mid-March after the government asked them to shut down to break the chain of transmission of the COVID19 outbreak in the country.