September 9, 2020

Partial school reopening for classes 9-12 students from Sept 21; SOPs issued

New Delhi: Partial reopening of schools will start from September 21 with the government on Tuesday issuing related standard operating procedures to ensure safety of students who visit schools under the next stage of COVID-19 unlocking. The partial reopening will only be permitted for students of classes 9 to 12 on a voluntary basis should they want to visit schools for one-on-one guidance from teachers. Any student of the specified classes who does visit school starting September 21 would need written consent from parents for doing so and the mandatory physical distance of 6 feet would be maintained in schools at all times.
“Government is following a phase-wise unlocking of activities. In days to come, this would also involve partial resumption of activities in schools for students of classes 9th to 12th on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This would be allowed from September 21, 2020,” Health Ministry said issuing safety standard opening procedures today.
Among generic safety measures will be—Physical distancing of at least 6 feet; preferable outdoor interactions of students and teachers; use of face covers and; frequent hand washing with soap, use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers; respiratory etiquette.
Ministry said all schools with classes 11 to 12 would continue to ensure, permit and encourage online learning even as partial reopening happens.
“Students of class 9th to 12th shall be permitted to visit their school on voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents and guardians. Such visits and teacher, student interaction must be organised in a staggered manner,” SOPs said. Only schools outside the containment zones will be allowed to open and students, teachers and employees living in containment zones won’t be permitted to attend the school.
Sanitization of all work areas in the schools has been made mandatory before buildings open and when they open, teaching and non-teaching employees (up to 50 pc strength) can be called to schools for online teaching.
“Students from class 9th to 12th will have the option of attending the classes virtually or physically only on a voluntary basis. Mess and canteens won’t open yet,” SOPs said.

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