Hyderabad: A standard operation procedure (SOP) for operating schools was finally released by the school education department on Tuesday, a week after the Telangana High Court questioned the government on how it decided to go ahead with reopening of schools without having an SOP in place.
The SOP will be applicable to all public and private schools, the director of school education’s office said. It once again made it clear that no child can be forced to attend physical classes by any school, and those willing to study from home should be allowed to do so. It also made it clear that school managements cannot impose any penalties on such students or parents of such students.
It said it would be the responsibility of school academic heads to focus on preparing students for classroom interaction, especially slow learners, by designing bridge courses for them. “Teachers,” it said, “shall be prepared for teaching in classrooms as well as following up with students studying from home through online mode.”
The SOP also called on school managements to train students as ‘Covid safety ambassadors’ to spread awareness among their parents and families about Covid appropriate behaviour. One period in the day could be devoted to this sensitisation exercise, it said.
Among the general measures to prevent spread of Covid-19 in schools, the SOP says physical distancing shall be followed at all times, use of face covers or masks along with frequent handwashing with soap should be made mandatory and should keep hand sanitisers wherever feasible. It also calls for monitoring the health of everyone in a school and reporting any illness to the nearest health facility promptly.
In case of students/staff are affected with Covid
· School head to keep handy phone numbers of nearest PHC or any other reliable medical facility, for contacting for medical aid
· Headmaster to ensure the child is taken to the nearest healthcare facility for Covid test, if symptoms are found
· In case, any child or member of staff is found to be Covid positive, his/her immediate contacts of students and staff in the school shall be tested by both Rt-PCR & RAT tests
· Disinfection of premises if anyone in the school is found to be Covid positive
· No child, affected by losing either one of the parents or both the parents due to Covid, shall be discharged from the school on account of non-payment of tuition fees or on account of lack of uniform and learning material
· All managements of private aided and unaided schools must adhere to these instructions without fail
· Create a learner-friendly school and classroom environment
· Address concerns of children with special needs along with others
· Project-work, assignments to be done at home under the guidance of teachers and parents
· Assembly, group work, games shall not be permitted until further orders
· All classrooms to be thoroughly disinfected every day and all frequently touched objects sanitised properly
· Text books to be distributed to each student without fail
· Physical distancing at drinking water taps, entry/exit points to be ensured
· Staggered entry and exit for students of different classes
· Sharing of items like pens, pencils, erasers, books, food, water bottle, glasses, plates is prohibited
· Kitchen, and the place of serving mid-day meals, and utensils should be cleaned and maintained in hygienic condition
· Rice, provisions etc. must be of good quality and be available in required quantities so that mid-day meal can be provided
· Physical distancing norms shall be observed in the kitchen as well. Only very essential staff to be allowed into kitchens
· Staggered timings may be put in place for mid-day meals, to avoid crowding
Ensuring safe transport:
Headmasters to sensitise drivers - whether working in public or private transport bringing children to school - on hygiene, physical distancing during transport, wearing face masks by them and students....