The Ministry of Health and Family welfare has now issued Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs for a phased reopening of schools for classes 9-12 and higher institutions from September 21. The ministry also stated that entrepreneurship or skill training too will be permitted on the said date. The reopening of schools has been allowed on a voluntary basis.
Only schools outside the containment zones will be allowed to reopen and students may be permitted to visit schools after the written consent of their parents or guardians.
SOPs for reopening of schools for Classes 9-12
- Guidelines stated that the teachers, students and employees shall observe physical distancing of minimum 6 feet wherever feasible all times and there should be frequent handwashing (for at least 40-60 seconds) with soap. Use of masks or face covers will remain made mandatory.
- Regular disinfection and cleaning (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, handrails, chairs, elevator buttons, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) will be made compulsory in all classrooms, lockers, laboratories, parking areas, and other common areas before the start of the classes and at the end of the day.
- Air-conditioning/ventilation guidelines: The CPWD guidelines shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature should be in the range of 24-30 degree Celcius of all air conditioning devices, relative humidity in the range of 40-70 per cent should be there, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible in the classrooms and cross ventilation should be adequate.
- As long as regular disinfection and physical distancing is maintained, lockers of students will remain in use. Swimming Pools shall remain closed.
- The schools which were used as quarantine centres shall be properly sanitised and deep cleaned before opening. The ministry also asked the school administration to ensure contactless attendance.
- Teachers, students, and employees falling within containment zones shall also be advised not to visit areas.
- The SOP also states that sharing of items like a notebook, eraser, pens/pencil, and water bottle should not be allowed amongst students.
- The guidelines stated that the concerned non-teaching employees and teaching- (up to 50 % of the strength) may be called to schools for tele-counselling/ online teaching and related work.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), the country’s COVID-19 tally has crossed the 42-lakh mark including 8,83,697 active cases, 33,23,951 cured/ migrated/discharged and 72,775 deaths.
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