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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: As the State is all set to reopen schools for class 10 and 12 students from January 8, Prem Chandra Choudhury, commissioner of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), today said that a helpline number has been opened for seamless communication with students and school authorities.

In case of any doubt, students and school authorities can dial the helpline number for BMC's assistance, he said.

He further said that sanitisation will be given priority for the safety of students attending the classes. Besides, schools have been directed to strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) in hostels, informed the commissioner.

Some Key Takeaways Of Odisha Government's SOP For Reopening Of Schools

Provisions Inside 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 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.
  • Similarly, 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 Hand sanitizers etc. for the teachers, students, and staff must be available mandatorily in each classroom. Students should be encouraged to sanitize their hands when entering and leaving classrooms and toilets.
  • Any staff entrusted with cleaning/sweeping duties must be informed and trained about the cleaning/sanitization processes as well as general norms for waste management and disposal.
  • The school should display state helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities to teachers/students/employees to contact in case of any emergency. Other posters related to the preventive measures about COVID-19 must also be displayed.
  • A separate isolation room has to be marked in the school and kept This room may be used in case any student or staff develops Covid symptoms.
  • The Composite School Grant under SSA may be used for purchase of all relevant cleaning and sanitization

Permissible Activities Inside Schools:

-Every school must determine how to run the school basing on the number of students, number and size of classrooms available. Maximum 20-25 students(depending on classroom size) should be allowed to sit in a class to ensure safe distancing among students.

-For schools with adequate classrooms, all students can be asked to come on a daily basis. School timing should be as usual.

-Recess/break should be staggered for different classes to ensure there is no overcrowding at common spaces and toilets.

-Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to crowding are prohibited.

-No outside vendor should be allowed to sell any eatables inside the school premises or within 100 meters from the entry gate.

-Syllabus for all classes, as revised and communicated by the State government, should start from the beginning.

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