Primary Schools Reopening: Know SOP & Guidelines To Follow; Offline To Remain Preferred Teaching Mode

Published by
OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Primary schools, which have been shut for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen from January 3, 2022, State School & Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash informed on Tuesday.

The department has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for students of Classes I to V of schools coming under jurisdiction of SME Department.

Overall guiding principles;

1. Online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

2. Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students
prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school,
they may be permitted to do so.

3. Online and classroom learning will go in tandem with each other and should continue to share timelines and daily schedules to ensure synchronisation.

4. Students may attend schools/institutions in consultation with their parents/guardians. Attendance must not be enforced.

5. District Collector will have the final authority to take decisions in this regard to the time and method of school reopening in exceptional circumstances for all the schools in the district.

6. All the DEOs/ADEOs/BEOs/ABEOs/BRCCs/CRCCs will visit all the schools before the reopening and ensure that the school premises have been cleaned and class rooms including Bench, Desk have been sanitized thoroughly.

Also Read: Physical Classes For Primary School Students In Odisha To Resume On This Date Next Year; Check Details

The government also issued  SOPs for health, hygiene and other safety protocols before reopening of schools:

A. General Guidelines on school opening and attendance of teachers/ students/staff:

1. Only schools outside the containment zones shall be allowed to open. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, these decisions will be taken by the District Collector. The Collector will also direct the relevant schools to immediately shut down in case their zone is declared as a containment zone.

2. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas including furniture, of school campus must be done.

3. Ensure working Hand Washing Facilities in the schools.

4. Ensure availabilities of key supplies like thermometer, disinfectants, shops and availability of essentials should be organised. The thermometer should be a Calibrated contact less infrared digital thermometer.

5. Sanitisation of school transport before they start plying must be ensured.

6. Guidelines issued by the Department of Disinfection of Common Public places should be referred to for suitable follow up.

7. School provided transportation should also be discouraged to reduce risk. Transport facilities may run at maximum of 50 per cent capacity.

8. High risk staff members with severe ailments or underlying conditions must take extra precaution.

9. No student should be coerced to come to school. Only those parents and students who feel comfortable attending school should do so.

B. Provisions to be made inside schools ;

1. There must be 6 feet distance between students in the revised seating plan. If Benches are used, “one student one bench norm” may be considered

2. Also physical/social distancing should also be maintained in the staff rooms, office area and other places of public interaction.

3. If the school has sufficient space, temporary space or outdoor space can be utilised for conducting classes (in case of pleasant weather) keeping in view the safety and security of the student and following physical distance protocol.

4. Wearing of mask is a must at all time and at all places inside the school.

5. There must be adequate soap (solid / liquid) and running water in all washrooms and toilets. Hand sanitisers etc. for teachers, students, and staff must be available mandatorily in each classroom. Students should be encouraged to sanitise their hands when entering and leaving classrooms and toilets.

6. Cleaning/sweeping staff must be informed and trained about the cleaning/sanitisation processes as well as waste management and disposal norms.

7. The school should display state helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc

8. A separate isolation room has to be marked in the school and kept ready. This room may be used in case any student or staff develops COVID symptoms.

C. Development of a calendar of teaching and permissible activities inside schools:

1. Every school must determine how to run the school basing on the
number of students and number and size of classrooms available.

Maximum 20-25 students (depending upon classroom size) should be allowed to sit in a classroom to ensure safe distancing among students. For schools with an adequate number of classrooms, all students can be asked to come on a daily basis.

2. School timings as mentioned in the order should be followed depending on categories of schools mentioned in the table.

3. Recess/Break should be staggered for different classes to ensure there is no overcrowding at common spaces and toilets.

4. Students should be encouraged to bring healthy and nutritious food from home and should be advised not to share it with fellow students.

5. Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to crowding are prohibited.

6. No outside vendor should be allowed to sell any eatables inside the
school premises or withinl00 meters from the entry gate/point.

7. Syllabus for all classes, as revised and communicated by the Govt. should start from the beginning.

D. Sensitization of teachers, parents, staff, and members of School Management Committee:

1. Before the opening of the school, a meeting of all SMC/SMDC members and any other parents who desire to attend the meeting shall be called by the Head of School.

2. In this meeting, a detailed discussion on the safety protocols must be held, inputs of all members incorporated, and consent taken from SMC/SMDCs. Proceedings of the meeting must be recorded in the relevant register maintained in the school.

3. The SMC/SMDC must also be encouraged to walk around the school premises and ensure that all hygiene and safety precautions are there to their satisfaction .

4. All these information should also be shared with the parents community through Whats App message or SMS. The message also include dos/ don’t s that the parents/ student s must follow.

5. Written consent should not be sought from the parents for their child to attend school. Students can attend the school in consultation with their Parents or opt to study from home.

II. SOPs for health, hygiene and other safety protocols after reopening:

A. Monitoring Team to be made along with SMC/SMDC members ;

1. Every school must have a Covid Monitoring Team comprising of 1 teachers & 1 parent member from SMC/ SMDC.

2. The responsibility of the Monitoring Team will be to ensure health and hygiene within the school – This team will come to school 30 minutes early and leave 30 minutes after school hours to ensure full cleanliness/sanitization in school.

3. Emergency response – Have a clear plan in place for contingencies and take action anytime there is an emergency or risk in school. In addition, the team will also support the HM for preparation and implementation of all calendars, schedules and activities in the school. HM will decide the school calendar, take decision on academic activities with a key consideration towards ensuring the right balance between learning and safety of students and continuing to focus on regular learning at home for those students who are unable to come to school for any reason.

B. Regular monitoring of Hygiene and Sanitation inside the school;

1. School campus should be cleaned daily and a daily record of areas cleaned may be maintained. Note that students should not be involved in any of the cleaning activities for health and safety reasons.

2. Provision of soap(solid/liquid) in toilets and hand sanit izers in other places/ facilit ies of common use should be ensured.

3. Students and employee should be strictly advised to wear masks and not dispose of used face covers / masks inside the school. All students and staff are to arrive at school wearing a face cover/mask and continue wearing it all through, especially when in class, or doing any activity in groups. Care should be taken to ensure and educate children not to exchange masks with others.

4. Mandatory hand washing for all students and staff at regular intervals as per the planned protocol following physical/social distancing norms should be ensured Hand washing time should be a minimum of 40 seconds.

5. Ever y child needs to learn how to cough or sneeze into a tissue/elbow and avoid touching face, eyes, mouth, and nose.

6. Students commuting through public transport should be adequately guided by schools to take all precautions such as – physical/social distancing, covering nose and mouth with up face cloth/masks, sanitizing hands after touching any surface etc.

7. Students should not share any material (textbooks, notebooks, pen, pencil, eraser, tiffin box, water bottles, etc.) with each other.

8. Spitting should be absolutely prohibited.

9.Regular health check-up of students, staff and employees should be organised by block and district office with the help of local Medical Officers. This officer should conduct regular checks through the School Health Programme.

The department has also directed the schools to take care of the social-emotional well-being of students/sensitisation of students, parents, teachers, community members and hostel staff on COVID-19 related and their role in school reopening as many students may be returning to school after suffering traumatic incidents at home over the last few months.

D. SOP to be followed if a Student / Teacher / School Staff Develops Suspected Symptoms of Covid-19:

1. In the event of any student or staff developing Covid 19 symptoms, the first step will be to separate the person from the rest of the people and keep the person in the isolation room /in an isolated place inside school premises.

2. The School Management must inform the parent or guardian about the health.

3. The School management must immediately inform the nearest medical facility or call the State or district helpline.

4. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found Covid positive.

5. The guidelines issued by SRC, Odisha and H & FW Deptt. from time to time must be followed by all Schools and to be ensured by the district administration.

OB Bureau

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