Partial Re-opening of the schools will be allowed but only; on a voluntary basis from 21st September, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The schools and colleges were shut down five months ago in view of the corona virus pandemic. Though, not to cause any confusion the authorities have also made it clear that; this order is applicable only to older students who belong to Class 9 and above. After all this too, the government is not going to impose any hard and fast rule for attending the schools. Instead, the final decision has been left to the parents; who will have to provide written permission for wards going to school.
Plus, there has been no announcement about the re-opening of the school for the younger students. Children below the age of 10 or among the population are particularly more vulnerable to the deadly corona virus.
A detailed guideline has been issued by the ministry on Tuesday. It encouraged online classes, but for the older students it stated that; “will be permitted to visit the school on a voluntary basis.” As per the government; such visits have to be arranged in a staggered manner; as maintaining a 6-feet distance between students in class rooms will be mandatory. Physical distancing will also need to be maintained in staff rooms, office area, cafeterias, libraries, and other places.
The other safety measures include:
- Use of masks
- Frequent hand washing
- Respiratory Etiquette
The government has also stated that for now; only 50 per cent of the teaching and non-teaching staffs will be allowed in the schools.
This step has been taken by the government after shutting down the schools since February and March. The corona virus situation is deliberately challenging and horrific but life can’t be stopped forever.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) announced by the Health Ministry states that “Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations, etc including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to the frequently touched surface.” The SOP also adds “This will be subject to the written consent of their parents/guardians.”
All entry points to the school will have hand sanitizers and thermal screening for temperature. For maintaining a safe distance of 6-feet the schools have been asked to draw markings on the floor everywhere. Upon re-opening, morning assembly, sports, and any event or activity that could lead to crowding will not be allowed. Sharing items such as class notes and stationary amongst students will also be prohibited.