The education ministry on October 5, 2020, published guidelines which are to be fulfilled while reopening schools. The country is in lockdown since March 2020 and it is being revoked by launching unlock phases. Now, through unlock 5.0, the central government circulated protocols for reopening of schools, colleges and other educational institutions. Nonetheless, the final decision is bestowed to States and Union Territories whether they want to reopen the educational institutions or not.
Education Minister further tweeted that States and Union Territories should develop their own Standard Operating procedures(SOPs) viewing health and safety precautions for reopening of educational institutions. Central Education Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank further affirmed that students will simply attend the school only with the approval of their parents or respective guardians. Those who don’t have access to physical schooling can resume taking online classes. Students are certified to go to school precisely on voluntary motive. Nevertheless, the lecturers and students who inhabit in containment or red zones, are not permitted to visit schools until the situation gets better.
The school management needs to supervise and execute sufficient cleaning and disinfecting methods around school premises. Each and everything and the entire place on school campus should be disinfected thoroughly using disinfectants and sanitizers. Thermal scanners for examining body temperatures are mandatory at the school entrance. The school Managements are highly recommended to establish committees for hygiene examination, emergency care and support. Educational societies should acquire all contact information and should communicate with closest hospitals, and emergency healthcare centres. Schools must ensure that there is adequate airflow in indoor spaces. Students, teachers, and other staffs at school inescapably have to wear face mask/ cover throughout the whole time and it is also better to wear gloves. Carrying a sanitizer always is an advantage.
Schools need to make sure that the timing of entry and exit of students should not overlap and everyone from pupils to non-teaching staff must obey social distancing rules. So the schools need to introduce a fresh seating structure that coordinates with social distancing regulations. Obtaining information about the student’s health is one of the prominent duty of their respective schools and during school hours if anyone shows the symptoms of COVID-19 the schools are instructed to interpret the procedures handed out by the central government. As per government suggestions, the schools with the midday meal program should serve the food which needs to be hot and well cooked.
The States has the responsibility to formulate a new academic calendar with planned classes, holidays and examinations. The government has announced that till next 2-3 weeks there will be neither teaching nor assessment and told teachers to enlighten students considering pandemic and to nurture their emotional strength. All schools in New Delhi will continue to be shut until the end of October. As for higher institutions, clearance is given to only PhD and PG students in science and technology with lab work or experiments.