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Parents Written Consent Required: Education Ministry Issues SoPs Ahead of Schools Reopening Next Week

Representative Image

Representative Image

Under Unlock 5.0 orders, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the States/Union Territory governments may take a decision in respect of reopening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner.

Union Education Ministry on Monday issued a detailed guidelines for reopening of schools and other educational institutions across the country amid Covid-19 pandemic. This comes after the Centre recently allowed the reopening of schools after October 15 in a graded manner.

Under Unlock 5.0 orders, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the States/Union Territory governments may take a decision in respect of reopening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner.

The SOPs, issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy and Ministry of Education on Monday, are on health, cleanliness and safety while emphasis has also been given to teaching and learning keeping in mind social distancing.

Taking to Twitter, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, "I hope the states will follow the SOPs. No student will be forced to come to school."

As per the guidelines, students can attend schools only with the written consent of parents and a flexibility in attendance will be given. If students want, they can opt for online classes instead of going to school. "Flexible attendance and sick leave policies may be developed and implemented to encourage students and staff to stay at home when sick. Students may attend schools only with the written consent of parents. Students may opt for online classes rather than physically attend school," according to the guidelines.

"Before the schools are opened, every part of the school has to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. Hand washing and disinfection have to be done. From making the children's seating plan to the safe transport plan and classrooms, emphasis has also been laid on the provision of time-gap between all arrangements for security at the entry and exit points and the provision of safe living in hostels. Physical distancing/social distancing to be ensured while planning the seating plan, functions and events to be avoided, staggering of entry and exits timings and points of schools, staggered time tables," the SoP reads.

The schools have also been asked to follow the alternative academic calendar of NCERT. No immediate evaluation will be allowed until two to three weeks after the schools reopen.

The schools have also been asked to take precautions while preparing and serving midday meals.

In view of the current pandemic situation, the Kejriwal government in Delhi has decided to keep all schools closed till October 31.

Universities and schools across the country were ordered shut on March 16 to contain the spread of the coronavirus. On March 25, the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown. While several restrictions have been eased gradually in different phases of the "unlock" since June 8, educational institutions continue to remain closed. However, according to the latest unlock guidelines, schools, colleges and other educational institutions can reopen outside the COVID-19 containment zones after October 15.


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