The Department of Health and Family Welfare drew up the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Tuesday for the partial reopening of schools for students in grades IX-XII for voluntary advice from their teachers.
“Schools outside the security zones may only be opened. In addition, students, teachers and employees who live in security zones are not allowed to attend school, ”said an official press release on the SOPs.
Before resuming activities, all work related to teaching / demonstration etc., including laboratories and other common utility areas, would need to be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.
Online learning to continue
All schools (with grades IX to XII) should specifically ensure that online / distance learning is allowed and encouraged. “Affected teaching and non-teaching staff (up to 50 percent of strength) can be called for online teaching / teleconsulting and related work in schools,” the press release added. Gatherings, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.
According to the SOPs, teachers and students should maintain a physical separation of 6 feet at all times wherever possible.
Adequate securing of personal protective items such as face coverings / masks and hand sanitizer must be provided to teachers and staff.
At the entrance, provisions must be made for hand hygiene and thermal protection. If possible, several / separate gates should be used for entry and exit.
Posters / standees on preventive measures against Covid-19 should be clearly visible, he added.
“If the transportation facility is managed by the school, proper physical distancing and disinfection of buses / other transportation vehicles (containing 1 percent sodium hypochlorite) must be ensured,” the statement said.
It was also mentioned that teachers, school counselors and school health workers should work together to keep students emotionally safe.