Soren to reopen primary schools
Jharkhand school education and literacy department on Wednesday announced the standard operation procedures (SOPs) for the opening of all schools, including the primary ones, in the offline mode between 8am and 2pm in 17 out of the 24 districts, barring Ranchi, East Singhbhum, Chatra, Deoghar, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Simdega and Bokaro, where Covid cases are still relatively high. In these seven districts, schools were allowed to operate on offline mode for classes IX and above.
Jharkhand chief secretary Sukhdev Singh, on Wednesday morning, had issued formal written guidelines with a complete list of dos and don’ts for students. On the basis of those guidelines, the school education and literacy department issued the SOPs.
According to the SOPs, the schools will reopen from February 4 and ensure that all school buildings are sanitised with sodium hypochlorite solutions. All teachers, staff members and even those in canteens have to be fully vaccinated and all including teachers and students need to wear masks all the time on the school premises and the strict adherence to social distancing should be ensured.
The guidelines also make it mandatory to have written consent of parents for offline classes and prohibits prayers during assembly and cultural programmes in schools.
District administrations have been directed to conduct routine health check-up of students and teachers for Covid-related symptoms.
The school education department will go for massive awareness on Covid-appropriate behaviour using audio-video tools among primary schools which will open after almost two years.
The decision was taken after a high-level meeting between state education and literacy department secretary Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Jharkhand Education Project Council officials in Ranchi on Tuesday in the light of the decision taken by the Jharkhand disaster management authority on Monday about reopening of schools from primary to higher secondary level in 17 out of the 24 districts and in remaining seven districts from secondary level.
“The primary level students of classes I to VI will be attending offline classes almost after two years. It is necessary to inculcate awareness among these children about Covid-appropriate behaviour like maintaining social distance, using hand sanitisers and wearing masks and above all proper keeping of masks,” said a JEPC official.
On Monday, the state disaster management authority held a meeting chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren and ordered all educational institutions to open from elementary level in 17 districts.
The government also allowed gyms and swimming pools to reopen, while permitting sports events at stadiums without spectators. The government relaxed the cap on social gatherings, allowing a maximum of 200 people (from the earlier 100).
Permission was also given for offline competitive examinations.
“All parks and tourist places will remain closed. Not more than 50 per cent of the capacity will be present in restaurants, bars, cinema halls, shops and shopping malls at a time,” the government release said on Monday evening.
“All shops (except restaurants, bars, drugstores, petrol pumps) will be open till 8pm while fairs, processions and exhibitions will remain prohibited,” it added.