The Union health ministry has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for “partial reopening” of schools outside Covid containment zones to offer guidance to students of Classes XI to XII who voluntarily turn up with the written consent of parents/guardians from September 21.
The SOPs said seating arrangement should ensure a gap of six feet between chairs and desks on the school premises. It also prescribed staggered guidance activities with separate time slots.
Students, teachers and staff should use face covers and alcohol-based hand sanitisers (for at least 20 seconds), frequently wash hands with soap (at least 40 to 60 seconds) and desist from spitting in public places.
Schools should sanitise the common utility areas. If weather permits, the interaction between students and teachers should be held outdoor. The guidelines prohibit assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding.
Sanitiser dispensers and thermal screening provisions should be made available in the schools. The schools should use multiple separate gates, if feasible, for entry and exit, the SOPs said. Cafeteria and swimming pool shall remain closed.
If anyone develops symptoms, the person should be placed in a room in isolation and the family should be informed.
Teaching and non-teaching staff up to 50 per cent of their total strength may be called to schools.
Instead of biometric attendance, alternative arrangements for contactless attendance should be made by the school administration, the SOPs said.
The Unlock 4 guidelines issued earlier by the Union home ministry had already said regular classes would be closed till September 30.