After a gap of seven months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, schools outside containment zones have reopened from today in some parts of India. As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) earlier this month, schools, colleges and educational institutions were allowed to reopen from October 15 in areas away from the containment zones. The final decision on the matter was, however, left to states.
While states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Sikkim have decided to reopen schools, states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka have decided to avoid reopening them to avoid COVID-19 spread. From staggered seating to thermal scanning, here are some of the guidelines in place for the reopening of schools.
- Schools will reopen for students of Classes 9-12 outside areas classified as containment zones
- Students will only be allowed entry after showing written permission from their parents or guardians
- Classes will take place in shifts - Classes for 9 and 10 will take place in the first shift, whereas for 11 and 12, classes will take place in the second shift
- Students will be made to sit at a distance of 6 feet from each other to maintain adequate social distancing
- 50 per cent students will be called in for every class on a day and the remaining 50 per cent on the next day
- Schools to be properly sanitized before the beginning of every shift
- Any student, teacher or employee who is symptomatic shall be sent home after primary treatment
- In case of school transport, buses shall be sanitised regularly and seating arrangement shall be staggered
- Directives have also been issued to encourage online classes and encouraging virtual learning. Priority should be given to calling those students to school who don't have any access to online teaching
- No winter break this year due to the extended break in view of coronavirus lockdown. Government holidays, however, won't be impacted
- Classes will be held 6 days a week. Saturday will be treated as a half-day in all schools
- Students of classes 11 and 12 can attend classes on a voluntary basis only after getting a consent form signed from their parents
- Schools shall be opened for only students of classes 9-12
- Students will be permitted to attend classes only when they furnish parental consent
- Attendance is not compulsory
- Not more than 20 students shall be allowed to sit in a classroom at a time
- More than 2 students shall not be allowed to share a bench and minimum distance between desks shall be adhered to
- Online classes to be the preferred mode of teaching.