Poor awareness among managements a cause for concern

The lack of awareness among school managements on the safety protocol to be followed ahead of the partial reopening is likely to put the authorities in a fix.

The Education Department has made it clear that students should not be made part of the cleaning activity on campuses. A directive in this regard was issued following reports that students had joined teachers and other staffers in cleaning up school premises and giving a fresh coat of paint to classroom walls. The Health Ministry guidelines clearly state that students should not be involved in any cleaning activity for health and safety reasons.

Senior Health Department officials informed that students were not permitted to visit campuses till their partial reopening on January 1. Stringent directives will be given to school managements to ensure that students are not part of cleaning work, they said.

The Indian Academy of Paediatrics had recommended sharing of authentic information on COVID-19, including its symptoms, and the need to maintain physical distancing with all staff members, parents, and students. The entire community should be well-informed about the new standard operating protocols, it said.

Schools should open in batches with older students joining first. Students should attend sessions in different shifts / alternate days. Classrooms should be well ventilated by keeping doors and windows open. Outdoor spaces should preferably be utilised to conduct classes. A distance of at least one metre should be strictly maintained between two individuals on the school premises, according to the guidelines.

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