Partial opening of schools for Class 9 to 12 from September 21: Health Ministry issues SOP; check key points

By: |
September 08, 2020 8:10 PM

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today issued SOP for partial reopening of Schools for students of 9th to 12th classes on a voluntary basis.

sop for school opening for class 9 to 12Health ministry issues sop for school opening for class 9 to 12

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today issued SOP for partial reopening of Schools for students of 9th to 12th classes on a voluntary basis. The partial resumption of activities in schools for students of classes 9th to 12th on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers would be allowed from 21st September 2020. The SOP has outlined various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken when schools will permit students (for 9th to 12th class) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Preventive measures to be adopted:

a. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
b. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
c. Frequent handwashing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty.
d.Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.
e. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.
f. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
g. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
h. Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.

Schools have to ensure the following arrangements:

a. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
b. Students of class 9th to 12th shall be permitted to visit their school on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/guardians. Such visits and teacher-student interaction must be organized in a staggered manner.

Also, only those schools should be allowed to open which are outside the containment zones. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones, the SOP said.

Schools, which were used as quarantine centres, should be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before partial functioning is resumed.

If weather permits, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher-student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.

The temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius, 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.

The entrance of schools should have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer 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 in the premises. If a teacher/employee/student is found to be symptomatic, he/she should be referred to the nearest health centre.

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