Sharmili Mallick

After remaining shut for around 18 months due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, physical classes for XI students in all the higher secondary schools (HSS) across Odisha resumed on Thursday with adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

The School and Mass Education Department (S&ME) had earlier issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be followed by the school authorities for the safety of students, teachers and staff.

As per the SOP, the classes for Standard 11 students will be held between 10 am and 1.30 pm. There will be no classes for the first two days as teachers and managing committee members will be holding discussions with the students.

There will be a special examination on October 27, 28 and 29 and attempts will be made to develop a fearless environment in the school, the notification issued by the S&ME department had said.

Similarly, the S&ME department has asked the school authorities to ensure 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.

Students should be made to sit at safe distances/alternate desks inside classrooms. 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, said the SOP.

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, the SOP read.

There must be adequate soap (solid/liquid) and running water in all washrooms and toilets. Hand sanitisers etc. for the teachers, students, and staff must be available mandatorily in each classroom, directed the S&ME department.

Similarly, the offline classes for Standard VIII students will resume from October 25.