Here’s how partial reopening of schools look like

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.


Lockdown 4.0 Guidelines by MHA

Central Government on Sunday extended the nationwide lockdown further till May 31, 2020. However, this time the lockdown has come with more relaxations that are likely to open the economic activities in the country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on Sunday has released a fresh set of guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of GoI, State/UT Government for containment of COVID-19 in the country up to 31st May 2020.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the following activities shall remain prohibited throughout the country under Lockdown 4.0:

  • All domestic and international flights and metro rails will remain shut for the general public. Domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purpose are permitted.
  • Schools, colleges, educational institutes, coaching, classes will also remain closed.
  • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services are prohibited. Restaurants will be permitted to operate kitchen for home delivery of food items.
  • Movie halls, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, bars, auditorium and similar places cannot function during the lockdown. Sports complexes and stadiums are permitted to open but without an audience.
  • Any gathering for social, political, sports, entertainment, religious activities is strictly prohibited.
  • All religious places of worship will remain closed for public.

Following activities are permitted with restrictions in green and orange zones:

  • Inter-state movement of passenger vehicle and buses.
  • Intra-state movement of passenger vehicle and buses.

The delineation of Red, Orange and Green Zones will be decided by the respective State Government on the basis of parameters shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.

Further, in the Red and Orange Zones, the respective District Administration will demarcate the Containment Zones and Buffer Zones on the basis of the guidelines laid by MoHFW.

Guidelines for Containment Zones released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Lockdown 4.0

According to the new guidelines released by the MoHFW, only essential activities will be allowed in the Containment Zones. These zones will have a strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones except for medical emergencies and for maintaining a supply of essential items.

Intensive contact tracing and house-to-house survey should be carried out in the Containment Zones.

As per the guidelines, the movement of individual will be strictly prohibited between 7 PM to 7 AM except for emergency activities. Besides, the guideline also mentions that vulnerable persons including people above 65 years of age, children below 10 years of age, pregnant women, and persons with other diseases should stay at home except for health purposes.

In order to ensure safety in offices and workplaces, should install and use Arogya Setu app.

Also, in lockdown 4.0, all the states will allow inter and intra-state movement of medical professionals, nurses and other health workers without any restrictions. Moreover, the movement of all types of goods/cargos including empty trucks will be allowed. No state will stop the movement of any type of goods for cross-border trade.

In the guidelines of Lockdown 4.0, the central has also issued National Directives for COVID-19 Management as below:

  • Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all the public places.
  • All the public places including shops, offices will ensure social distancing.
  • Spitting in public and workplace will be a punishable offence with a fine.
  • Social distancing in public places and public transport has to be followed by all.
  • Marriage related gathering should ensure social distancing. Besides, a maximum of 50 guests will be allowed at such events.
  • Similarly, in funerals/last rites gathering, a maximum of 20 people will be allowed while ensuring social distancing.
  • Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha, tobacco is not allowed in public places.

Directives for Workplace

  • The practice of work from home should be followed if possible.
  • Thermal scanning, hand wash, and sanitizer should be made available at all entry and exit points and common areas.
  • Frequent sanitization of the entire workplace, common facilities and common areas should be ensured.

The Government of Rajasthan is to issue detailed guidelines for Lockdown 4.0 for the state on Monday.