Government issues SOP for partial re-opening of Schools
COVID-19, News

Government issues SOP for partial re-opening of Schools

September 10, 2020
  • Classes 9 to 12 may start on voluntary basis from Sept. 21
  • Students who attend need written permission from parents 

New Delhi: As part of phase-wise unlocking activities in the context of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines (Standard Operating Procedure – SOP) for re-opening of Schools for students of Classes 9 to 12 on voluntary basis from Sept. 21.

All Schools must have thermal guns at the gates to check temperature of teachers and students. Before opening, Schools should completely sanitise the classrooms and ensure availability of 1% hypochlorite solutions, alcohol wipes and sanitisers. Schools that were turned into quarantine centres should ensure deep cleaning of premises.

Schools will function at 50% capacity and online classes will continue. Students of Classes 9 to 12 have the option of attending classes virtually or physically. A student will need written permission from parents to attend School. 

The Ministry has suggested that rather than closed classrooms, Schools should utilise open spaces outdoors for student-teacher interaction if weather permits. Mess and canteens inside Schools would remain closed. There will be no assembly, sports or events which could lead to overcrowding.

Masks will be mandatory at all times for students, teachers and non-teaching staff. Frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures should be cleaned with hypochlorite solution. Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers must be disinfected.

Deep cleaning of all drinking and hand washing stations, washrooms and lavatories would be ensured. Students and teachers would be asked to dispose of used face covers and masks in separate covered bins placed in classrooms and common areas. These would remain stored for three days in the bins and then disposed of as dry general solid waste after shredding. Schools cannot involve students in cleaning activities.

SOP at the entry point

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• Entrance to have hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.

• Multiple gates/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.

• Only asymptomatic persons (teachers, employees and students) to be allowed inside.

• If a teacher/employee/student is found to be symptomatic, he/she should be referred to nearest health centre.

• Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.

• Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators — duly following physical distancing norms shall be organised.

• Entry of visitors should be strictly regulated/ restricted.

Planning of activities

• All employees who are at higher risk, that is, older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the students.

• iGOT online modules training course on ‘basic awareness on COVID’ may be undertaken by all employee and students during online interactions or guidance sessions on first day.

Additional Protocol

• Schools should display State Helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc., for teachers /students / employees to contact in case of any emergency.

• For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasises that the temperature setting of all air-conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

• Lockers of students will remain in use, as long as physical distancing and regular disinfection is maintained.

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• Gymnasiums shall follow MoHFW guidelines.

• Swimming Pool (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.

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