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Unlock 5: Education Ministry Issues Guidelines For Reopening Schools Amid COVID-19

Unlock 5: According to the guidelines issued by Education Ministry, schools and coaching institutions can open in a graded manner after October 15

Unlock 5: Education Ministry Issues Guidelines For Reopening Schools Amid COVID-19
Highlights
  • Schools are to follow guidelines prepared by state/UT education department
  • As per guidelines, there will be flexibility in attendance norms
  • Students may opt online classes rather than physically attend school: Govt

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Education on Monday (October 5) issued guidelines for reopening of schools after October 15 during the Unlocked 5 phase. The guidelines have been issued in accordance with the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL). As per the guidelines, schools and coaching institutions can open in a graded manner after October 15. However, the decision on whether to reopen educational institutions with States and Union Territories (UTs). The Ministry said that States/UTs may adopt or adapt the standard operating procedure (SoP) as per local context and requirements.

Also Read: Unlock 5: Cinemas Permitted To Open From October 15; States Can Allow Gathering Of Over 100 People

As per para -1 of MHA order no. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 30.09.2020 for reopening, States/UT Governments may take a decision in respect of the reopening of schools and coaching institutions after 15.10.2020 in a graded manner in consultation with the respective schools/institutions management and based on the local situation. For this purpose, States/UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precaution for reopening of schools based on the SOP to the Ministry of Education, Government of India. States/UTs may adopt or adapt the SOP as per local context and requirements, the guidelines read.

According to DoSEL, the schools which are allowed to open must follow the guideline prepared by States/UTs education departments based on SOP issued by the DoSEL.

Also Read: Mask Is Ultimate Scientific Remedy To Combat COVID-19: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister

The guidelines for reopening of schools are comprised of two parts one is SOP for health, hygiene, and safety and another is learning with physical and social distancing.

The Education Ministry’s guidelines further stated that the SOP for health, hygiene and safety include preparation the schools have to do before reopening such as proper cleaning and sanitisation of all parts of the school, provision for hand wash and disinfection, seating plan, safe transport plan, staggering of time table and classes, precaution at entry and exit points, and arrangements for safe residential stay at hostels and sensitisation of students, teachers, school authorities, school management committees, and parents.

Also Read: Unlock 5 In Odisha: Places Of Worship To Remain Closed For Public Till October 31

The SOP also provides for safety protocols to the followed after the opening of schools such as maintaining physical/social distancing norms by keeping a minimum 6 feet gap between each other, wearing of masks at all times in the classroom, laboratory and play areas, maintaining hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and screening before entry into the school and students may attend schools only with the written consent of parents.

The guidelines further stated that there will be flexibility in attendance norms and students may opt for online classes rather than physically attend school. The SOP also emphasises on following the health protocols as advised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Moreover, precautions to be taken for preparing and serving mid-day meal in schools are laid down in the SOP.

Academic aspects related to teaching-learning and assessment with a focus on learning outcomes are redefined including revision of academic calendar and preparation of comprehensive academic plan. An alternative academic calendar of NCERT may be followed. Assessment should be learner-friendly and involving different formats rather than pen-paper test. No assessment till upto 2-3 weeks of school reopening and Use of ICT and online learning shall continue to be encouraged.

The SOP also lists out the role and responsibility of the State/UT Education Departments, school heads, teachers, parents and guardians and how to carry out capacity building of different stakeholders.

Lastly, a checklist for a safe school environment, as adopted from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), guidelines, is provided for schools parents, and students to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Also Read: Actual COVID-19 Death Toll Certainly Higher Than 1 Million: World Health Organisation

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

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