Schools To Reopen From September 21 For Classes 9 To 12

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced that schools will reopen from September 21 for classes 9 to 12. However, in-person classes at schools will be conducted on a “voluntary basis,” alongside online/distance learning. The ministry has issued basic guidelines for school reopening, that need to be followed by teachers, students and school employees alike.

The ministry took to Twitter to announce their decision:

Also Read: Online Classes May Not Be A Good Idea, But is Resuming School The Solution?

The move intends to allow students to visit schools and take guidance from teachers in-person. Parents or guardians will have to provide written consent for the same. Students who come from and schools that fall in containment zones shall not take part in this proposed reopening. Teachers and students with underlying medical conditions, too, have been advised to abstain from being part of school reopening or take extra precautions.

What You Should Know:

  • Schools in India are set to reopen from September 21 for classes 9 to 12.
  • Schools will conduct these face to face sessions on a “voluntary basis.”
  • Online/distance learning shall continue to be in operation.
  • Guidelines include maintaining a physical distance of six feet at all times, mandatory use of face masks, following respiratory etiquettes, etc.
  • Schools will sanitise premises, take contactless attendance, have 50 percent of total staff strength, etc.

Issued Guidelines

The ministry has released several standard operating procedures (SOPs) for restarting offline classes in a safe manner. The procedures also extend to any transportation facilities provided by the schools. These include maintaining a physical distance of six feet at all times, mandatory use of face masks, following respiratory etiquettes, and washing or sanitising hands frequently.

Additionally, the Health Ministry has stipulated self-monitoring of health and installation of the Aarogya Setu app. It has also provided appropriate directions to be followed in case any teacher/student/employee takes ill. These specific guidelines have to be followed in tandem with the general preventive measures issued by the centre in the past.

Also Read:As India Decides To Reopen Schools, Beijing Orders Lockdown Amid Fresh Outbreak

Schools Prepare For New Normal

As per the guidelines, schools will have to use one percent sodium hypochlorite solution to sanitise work areas like classrooms, laboratories, and other common utility areas. Teachers shall take contactless attendance of the students. Schools will also have to make do with only 50 percent of the total strength of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Schools will have to work out time slots for classroom activities in order to ensure that criteria of social distancing are met. The guidelines strictly prohibit extracurricular events and activities. Additionally, the guidelines instruct schools to use outside spaces for teacher-student interactions, subject to the weather.

Not An Absolute Move

The Health Ministry has assured that these in-person interactions will be completely voluntary. Students can use this opportunity for clearing doubts and attending practical lessons. The distance learning method will continue for the near future.

In a welcome move, the ministry has also instructed school counsellors and teachers to work together and ensure the psycho-social well being of students amidst the current situation.

Also Read:Can Parents And Schools Cut Students Some Slack During Lockdown?

Unlocking Continues

The reopening of schools is a part of the Unlock-4 initiative by the Centre. Last week, the government announced resummation of metro services across the nation under the same. The initiative also restricts state governments from imposing lockdowns or sealing borders any longer.

While Unlock-4 is underway, India has now become the second-worst COVID-19 affected country in the world. Our tally for the total number of coronavirus cases stands at 43 lakh.

Image Credit: WikiCommons

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.