The Odisha government will be reopening physical classes for class 10, 12 school students from July 26. The School and Mass Education Department has released a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for the same.
Schools outside containment zones will be allowed to reopen. School-provided transportation has been discouraged to reduce risk and parents must ensure they take responsibility for the child’s commute to school. Even if transportation facilities are provided, it may run at maximum of 50 per cent capacity with adequate sanitisation before picking up and after dropping students.
All government schools under the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), government-aided and private schools have been directed to follow the SOPs. Online learning will remain as the preferred mode of teaching, however, if any student prefers to attend offline classes they will be allowed to do. They will have to get a letter of permission from their parents.
As per the official notification, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the schools. The District Collector will have the final authority and can direct relevant schools to immediately shut down in case their zone is declared as a containment zone.
Prior to school reopening, all work areas including furniture, libraries laboratories, storage places, water tanks, kitchen, washroom, and other areas of common use shall be sanitised with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces, the notice read.
Schools must have proper access to potable drinking water and adequate functional toilets. Hostel facilities shall not be provided at this point in time.
Meanwhile, the Odisha board is set to conduct special exams for classes 10 and 12 from July 26. This exam will be held for students not happy with their board results and who wish to improve their scores. This time, the evaluation for the board students were done on the basis of special evaluation criteria. Students had alleged that there was a lack of transparency in the evaluation system.