The Ministry of Health has allowed a phased reopening of schools and colleges from September 21 on a voluntary basis, reported The Indian Express.
In a recent notice, the ministry stated that skill or entrepreneurship training too will be permitted from September 21.
Only students from classes 9 to 12 will have the option of attending the classes remotely or virtually or physically while for younger kids the online classes will continue. Students joining schools will require consent from their parents for the same.
Schools will have to continue their online education and are rather “encouraged” to conduct classes online or in distance mode. Higher educations too are asked to “intermix” mode of regular classroom teaching and online teaching or assessments.
Only those schools which are outside the containment zones will be allowed to open. Schools are asked to utilise outdoor space more. Regular counselling for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression should be held, as per guidelines.
The higher educational institutions conducting PhD or technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory or experimental works will be permitted first.
Colleges and schools will have to keep their equipment six feet apart, further, the institutes will have to make marks on the floor to ensure students and teachers are at the required distance. Staggering of the classroom, no sharing of objects, separate timing slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises are suggested by the Ministry of Health.
Students who will be joining hostels will have to follow a 14-day quarantine. In case a student of faculty member shows any symptoms, they will be isolated in a room and should be examined by doctors, suggest the guidelines.
The institutes are also asked to plan their schedule in such a way that overcrowding or congregations can be avoided. Not only for students but institutes are asked to take “extra precautions” for older employees, pregnant employees, and employees with underlying medical conditions.
Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas including hostels, laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitised with “one per cent sodium hypochlorite solution”. Institutes will also have to provide face covers, masks, visors, hand sanitisers etc.
Entry to institutes will be allowed through multiple gates and the institutes need to screen every individual entering their campus. Any person showing symptoms will not be allowed inside, as per the guidelines.
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