The Ministry of Health and Family welfare, in a notice issued Tuesday, September 8, has allowed a phased reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12 on a "voluntary basis" from September 21.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry stated that only schools outside containment zones will be allowed to reopen from September 21 for senior students. Further, students, teachers, and staff members residing in containment zones will not be allowed to attend school.
"Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces," the SOP stated.
Further, schools which were used as quarantine centres will be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before partially reopening.
"Students from class 9th to 12th will have the option of attending the classes remotely/virtually or physically only on a voluntary basis for guidance from their teachers subject to written permission of parent / guardian," the statement added.
In addition, to ensure contact-less attendance, alternated arrangements should be made instead of biometric attendance.
At all times, teachers and students are required to maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible. To facilitate this, scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be arranged accordingly.
"For ensuring queue management, inside and outside the premises, specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet may be made. Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms, office areas (including reception area), and other places (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.)" the SOP added.
All entry points to the schools will also have hand sanitizers and thermal screening for temperature. In addition, after reopening, morning assembly, sports and any event or activity that could lead to crowding is strictly prohibited. Along with this, sharing of items such as class notes and stationery amongst students is also not allowed.