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Vikash Sharma

The School and Mass Education Department on Friday issued a complete Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which will be in place at schools when the physical mode of teaching for classes 8 and 11 begins across the State in a phased manner from next week.

While classes for Standard 11 students will resume from October 21, the classroom teaching for Standard 8 students is scheduled to start from October 25, 2021.

As per the latest notification, the classes for Standard 8 (elementary education) will be held from 9 am to 12:30 pm. Similarly, the class timings for Standard 11 students will be between 10 and 1 :30 pm.

“Both online and offline classes will continue and the students can attend the offline classes in consultation with their parents/guardians. No cooked midday meal will be served to the students of class 8 and in lieu of that dry ration will be provided to students as being provided earlier,” the notification read.

As per the notification, the hostels for the students will be reopened from the date of reopening of schools and all Covid protocols and social distancing norms will be strictly followed. However, parental consent is mandatory for students who want to stay in the hostels.

Details:

-Online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

-Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attending school, they may be permitted to do so.

-Online and classroom learning will go in tandem with each other and should continue to share timelines and daily schedules to ensure synchronization.

-Students may attend schools/institutions in consultation with their parents /guardians. Attendance must not be enforced. 

-The District Collector will have the final authority to take decisions in this regard to the time and method of school reopening in exceptional circumstances for all the schools in the district.

-Only schools outside the containment zone shall be allowed to open. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the schools and will also be advised not to visit areas falling under containment zones.

-The District Collector will also direct the relevant schools to immediately shut down in case their zone is declared as a containment zone.

-Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas including furniture, libraries, laboratories, storage places, water tanks, kitchen, washrooms/toilets, and other areas of common use shall be sanitized with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces. 

-Schools may not reopen without 100% access to potable drinking water and adequate functional toilets for all students. Any school without access to the above must first make these arrangements before reopening. 

-School provided transportation should also be discouraged to reduce risk. Parents must ensure that they take responsibility of the child's commute to school. Where plying, transport facilities may run at maximum of 50% capacity with adequate sanitization before picking up and after dropping students. 

-High risk staff members with severe ailments or underlying conditions must take extra precaution.

-No student should be coerced to come to school. Only those parents and students who feel comfortable attending school should do so.

Provisions to be made in schools:

-For ensuring social distancing and queue management inside and at the entrance of the premises, specific markings on the floor/ground with a gap of 6 feet should be made. 

-Inside classrooms, students should be made to sit at safe distances/alternate desks. Fixed seating should be ensured. A particular seat/space should be earmarked for each student (for example: based on roll number) so that there is limited exposure to other students' physical spaces. 

-Physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms (by earmarking seats for teachers at an adequate distance), and other common areas (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.) with relevant markings as required.

-If available, temporary space or outdoor spaces (in case of pleasant weather) may be utilized for conducting classes, keeping in view the safety and security of the children and physical distance protocols. 

-There must be adequate soap (solid/liquid) and running water in all washrooms and toilets. Hand sanitizers etc. for the teachers, students, and staff must be available mandatorily in each classroom.

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