Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) on Thursday urged the State School and Mass Education (S&ME) department to consider reopening of elementary classes in the State. 

The Commission also recommended reopening of Class VI, VII and VIII in a phased manner. 

The Commission suggested that the S&ME department may issue necessary instruction to allocate one and half hours each day for two days a week to each class.  

"The School Management Committees (SMCs) must be consulted prior to reopening of schools. The SMCs along with the teachers may rework the School Development Plan in the context of COVID to develop a risk assessment and management plan. The SMC can be empowered to fix the date of reopening and timing of their respective school," the OSCPCR said in a letter to Principal Secretary of S&ME department. 

It further said the department should issue instructions to open such classes following COVID appropriate behaviour and ensure double dose of vaccination for all eligible staff. For making the school and classroom-ready, additional financial support should be provided to each school based on the requirement raised by the school management committees (SMCs). 

Stating that the School and Mass Education department already have guideline for payment of ex-gratia grants towards accident relief for students from Student Welfare Fund since March 25, 2015, the Commission recommended exploring the scope for covering COVID related medical expenses and ex-gratia due to COVID related death utilising the Student Welfare Fund.