Govt issues SOP for reopening of schools

DIMAPUR, FEB 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/1/2021 1:17:28 PM IST

The State government Tuesday issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the reopening of Schools (for classes 6 to 12) on the preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 and for strict compliance by all concerned throughout the State. Classes will begin from February 8. In an order issued by chief secretary J Alam, stated that  SOP outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken to prevent spread of COVID-19 when schools resume normal functioning for students of classes 6 to 12.

 Generic Preventive Measures

• The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

• These measures need to be observed by all (teachers, employees and students) in these places at all times. 

• Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible

• Use of face covers / masks to be made mandatory

• Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.

• Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.  Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.

• Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

• Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible. 

All schools (classes 6 to 12) shall specifically ensure

• Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks etc. 

• Schools shall prepare alternate day routine for classes.

• Schools shall frame the alternate day routine as per the enrolment in each class and the infrastructure facilities available.

• Supplementary Online / distance learning shall be encouraged.

 Before opening up of schools

• Schools outside the containment zones only shall be allowed to open. 

• Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend schools.  Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones.

• iGOT online modules training course on ‘basic awareness on COVID ( 313010389971255296164) may be undertaken by all employee and students on the first day.

 Availability and management of supplies

• Appropriate back-up stock of personal protection items like face covers / masks visors, hand sanitizers etc. shall be made available by school managements to teachers and employees. 

• Provide adequate supply of thermal guns, alcohol wipes or 1% sodium hypochlorite solutions and disposable paper towels, soap, IEC materials on COVID. 

• Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.

• Ensure availability of sufficient covered dustbins and trashcans.  Provision for proper disposal of used personal protective items and general waste in accordance with CPCB guidelines (available at: /Bio-Medical-Waste/BMW- GUIDELINES-COVID pdf) shall be made. 

• Housekeeping employees to be informed & trained about norms for waste management & disposal

 After opening of schools

• Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser/hand washing facilities) and thermal screening provisions.  Multiple gates/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.

• Only asymptomatic persons (teachers, employees and students) to be allowed in the premises.  If a teacher employee /student is found to be symptomatic, he/she should be referred to nearest health center.

• Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.

• Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators - duly following physical distancing norms shall be organized.

• Entry of visitors should be strictly regulated restricted.

 Conduct of activities in the rooms or open spaces within the school campus

• Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs desks etc. 

• Staggering of activities to be done, with separate timings/slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.

• The teaching faculty will ensure that they themselves and students wear masks throughout the conduct of the teaching/guidance activities.

• Sharing of items like notebook, pens/pencil, eraser, water bottle etc  amongst student should not be allowed.

 Conduct of skill based training in workshops/laboratories

• For practical activities in laboratories maximum capacity per session based on redesigned spaces, may be planned and scheduled accordingly.

• 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.

• Schools that were used as quarantine centers will be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before functioning of the school is resumed. 

• Instead of biometric attendance alternate arrangements for contactless attendance shall be made by the school administration.

• At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible.  Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly. 

• Hand washing facilities along with provision of soap shall be ensured. 

• 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.).

• Weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

• Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.

• Schools should display State helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc to teachers/students/employees to contact in case of any emergency.  

• For air-conditioning/ventilation wherever applicable, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 ° C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70 %  intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

• Lockers of students will remain in use, as long as physical distancing and regular disinfection is maintained.

• Gymnasiums shall follow the provisions of the SOPS.

• Swimming Pool (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.

• Cafeteria/mess facility within the school premises shall remain closed, the SOP stated.

• In term of transportation, proper physical distancing, sanitation of buses and other transport vehicles (with 1% Sodium hypochlorite) shall be ensured.

The SOP also touches on hygiene and sanitation, risk communication and psycho-social well being.

The order stated that any violation of the provisions of the above SOP will attract action as per legal provisions against the management of the school/institution.

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