Bhubaneswar: Ahead of reopening of all schools across the State, the Odisha government on Saturday issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that needs to be followed for ensuring safety of students in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
As per the latest notification, only the schools outside containment zones shall be allowed to reopen. Students, teachers, employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school.
Here are the key highlights of the SOP:
-Students, teachers, employees shall be advised not to visit these areas falling within containment zones. District Collectors will direct the relevant schools to immediately shutdown in case their zone is declared as a containment zone.
-Prior to reopening of schools, all work areas including furniture, libraries, storage places, water tanks, toilets and other common areas should be sanitised.
-Schools may not reopen without 100% access to potable drinking water and adequate functional toilets for all students.
-Hostel facilities are not to be opened at this point of time. Detail SOP to be issued soon.
-School provided transportation should be discouraged to reduce risk. Parents must ensure they take responsibility of child's commute to school. Where plying, transport facilities may run at maximum of 50% capacity with adequate sanitisation before picking up and dropping students.
-No student should be coerced to come to school. Only those parents and students who feel comfortable attending school should do so.
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.
Other Key Highlights:
-Every school must have a Covid monitoring team comprising of 1 teacher, 1 parent member from SMC/SMDC
The responsibility of of the monitoring team include:
-Ensure health and hygiene within the school. The team should come to school 30 minutes early and leave 30 minutes after the school hours to ensure full cleanliness/ sanitisation in the school.
-Emergency Response- Have a clear plan in place for contingencies and take action anytime there is an emergency or risk in school