The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Tuesday, released guidelines for a partial reopening of school. The Ministry said that the schools which are not in the containment zones can be partially opened from September 21 for students in Classes 9th to 12th.
However, this reopening will be on a voluntary basis for students to take guidance from teachers and will not like the regular classes held in the school. Students will have to take written permission from the parents or guardians to come to the school. Besides, everyone attending the school will have to ensure social distancing all the time.
Here’s how the new reopened special schools will work:
Are the schools being opened for all students?
No. The schools are reopening for all students. Students from classes 9th to 12 can go to the school for seeking teachers’ guidance. This is a voluntary arrangement for students. They cannot be forced to resume physical classes.
Online classes will continue as usual. The schools are allowed to conduct only special sessions with teachers on their premises. Regular physical classes at the schools are not being resumed.
How will social distancing be followed by COVID-19?
Schools will have to ensure that 6 feet distance is followed at all times. Face covers and masks will be compulsory for everyone. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be kept wherever necessary.
Everyone at the school will be instructed to follow the basic etiquette of covering mouths while coughing/sneezing.
How can the schools prepare themselves for reopening?
The schools will have to sanitize all work areas intended for teaching including laboratories, other common utility areas etc. before resuming the special session classes. 1% sodium hypochloride solution should be used for sanitization while giving particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.
Schools that were used as quarantine centers will be sanitized properly and deep cleaned before resuming the partial functioning.
According to the guidelines issued by MHA, schools falling under containment zones will not be allowed to open. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to come to the school.
Will all activities be open for students?
Activities the lead to overcrowding like assemblies, sports, and events are strictly prohibited. Similarly, swimming pools, mess and cafeterias will also remain shut.
State helpline numbers and numbers of local health authorities will be displayed on the school notice board to contact in case of any emergency.
What if a student or school staff tests positive?
According to the guidelines, if anyone at school is feeling unwell, he/she has to be in a room or area where they are isolated from others. The school authorities will have to inform the parents/guardian and call for a doctor.
The entire school premises will have to be disinfected and sanitized if a person is found positive.
Will all the students come to school at the same time?
To ensure adequate physical distancing, MHA has directed to give separate timing slots to the students. For practical subjects where the students need to visit the laboratory, maximum capacity per session based on redesigned spaces will have to be scheduled.
Is it safe for students to go to schools?
While the Ministry of Home Affairs, in its guidelines has directed the schools for deep cleaning at regular intervals, it is parents who have the ultimate right to decide whether their child should go to school or not.
Cleaning and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces will be a mandatory activity to be done by the schools, it is advisable to the parents to boost the immunity of their child by giving them home-made immunity boosters as guided by the Ministry of AYUSH.