The Central Government has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the partial reopening of schools after months of complete closure. Schools have been allowed to open with conditions for 9th to 12th from 21st September.
However, it will be voluntary i.e. it will be up to the students whether they want to go to school or not. During this time, a distance of at least 6 feet has to be kept between the students. Face covers /masks will also be required. Schools located in the Containment Zone will not be allowed to open.
The SOP issued by the Union Ministry of Health to reopen schools for students of Class IX to XII states that permission for online / distance learning will continue. Schools can call up to 50 per cent of their teaching and non-teaching staff for online teaching / tele-counselling and other related activities. Students from ninth to 12th will be allowed if they want to go to school to seek guidance from their teachers.
However, they will have to seek written consent from their parents or guardians. Students will also have the option to study online. Such a seating arrangement of students from lab to classes will have to be maintained at least 6 feet distance between them.
Gathering of students i.e. assembly and sports-related activities will be prohibited as it will risk spreading the infection. In addition to the state helpline numbers, the numbers of local health officials will also be displayed in the schools so that they can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Teachers or staff living in Containment Zones are not allowed to attend school. Schools that were used as quarantine centres have been instructed to sanitize well before being partially opened. In addition, all schools have been instructed to sanitize with a hypochlorite solution.