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.


Unlock 4: Rajasthan Issues Guidelines

Rajasthan government, on Sunday evening, issued fresh guidelines for the fourth phase of unlocking. These guidelines are largely based on the ones issued by the Union Home Ministry on Saturday, August 29.

The fourth phase of unlocking will take place from September 1 till September 30.

As per the order from Rajasthan Government, lockdown will remain in force in all the containment zones till September 30, 2020. The zones will be demarcated and notified by the district collector after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Only essential activities will be allowed in those areas.

The government has directed for intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance and other clinical interventions in the containment zones.

Unlock 4.0: Prohibited Activities in the State

  • School, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain close for students.
  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, and other similar places will also remain shut till September 30.

Unlock 4.0: List of Activities Allowed in the State

  • Online and distance learning will continue as usual.
  • 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to schools at a time for online teaching, tele-counselling and related work.
  • Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.
  • Skills or entrepreneurship training have been allowed in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).
  • Higher education institutions only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory and experimental works will be permitted. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with the MHA.
  • Open-air theatres will be permitted to reopen with effect from September 21.
  • Metro rail services will be allowed to operate with effect from September, in a graded manner.
  • International air travel, except as permitted by the MHA, will not be allowed.
  • Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 50 persons, with effect from September 21.
  • Marriage-related gathering can be held by giving prior information to SDM. The state government has permitted the maximum number of guests not more than 50.
  • In funeral -related gatherings, not more than 20 people will be allowed until September 21, 2020. Later 50 people can be allowed.
  • All worship places will be permitted to open from September 7, 2020, with certain protocols.
  • There will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. No separate permission, approval, or e-permit will be required for such movement.

Common Safety Precautions at Public Places

As per the Rajasthan government’s latest guidelines

  • Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all public and workplaces.
  • Each person will have to maintain a distance of six feet in public places.
  • Consumption of liquor, pan, tobacco, and spitting in public places have remained prohibited.
  • In workplaces, staggering business hours should be followed. The state government has also asked companies and businesses to continue ‘work from home’ practice, if possible.