Union Health Ministry Releases Guidelines For School Reopening

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New Delhi: Union Health and Welfare Ministry on Tuesday said that only schools outside the containment or red zones will be permitted to reopen from September 21 for classes IX to XII. Also, the staff and students living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the schools.

The Health Ministry released the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which stated, “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.”

Online classes will continue. Attendance for students will be voluntary and only to seek guidance from teachers The students coming to school will have to wear masks. The SOP further stated, “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.”

According to the guidelines issued by the ministry, all students will not report to school together. Guidance activities will be staggered with students being allocated specific time for reporting. It is mandatory to put up hand sanitisers and thermal screening at the entrance point of the school. Schools have been ordered to mark the floor in staff rooms, office areas, the mess, library, cafeteria, and classroom in order to maintain 6-foot social distancing.

Few activities will be prohibited when school reopens, which includes morning assembly, sports and any event that could lead to crowding. Sharing of class notes and stationery will not be allowed as well.

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