August 17, 2021 1:46:16 pm
With the Karnataka government preparing to resume offline classes for students in grades 9 to 12 in the state from August 23, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education has clarified that students should be divided into batches of 15 or 20 to avoid crowds and to minimise contact with each other.
However, officials have clarified that these SOPs will be applicable only to schools and separate guidelines shall be issued later for pre-university colleges (where classes equivalent to grades 11, 12 are held).
Will attending offline classes be mandatory?
No. Top officials of the primary and secondary education department confirmed to The Indian Express that attendance will not be made mandatory for offline classes. However, those choosing to attend classes at schools will have to get a consent letter from parents mentioning they are permitted to do so and have no Covid-19 symptoms.
Will classes be held for the entire day?
No. Classes will be held in the morning for half a day in all types of schools and only in districts where the positivity rate is less than 2 per cent. The government has specified that classes for students in grades 9 and 10 will be held from 10 am to 1.30 pm from Mondays to Fridays. The same on Saturdays will be scheduled between 10 am and 12.15 pm. Meanwhile, students of Class 8 can be permitted to visit the campus to get doubts clarified post afternoons.
How are schools expected to ensure they are not crowded?
In a bid to avoid crowds and to minimise contact with each other, it has been recommended that schools divide students into batches of 15 to 20 students. While a maximum of two students can be seated on a bench, each bench should be ensured to be placed at a sufficient distance from the other. Further, a teacher will be appointed as nodal officer in each school to ensure Covid-19 guidelines are followed.
Further, schools have been asked to set up multiple entry and exit gates. In case of a student showing symptoms like cough, fever, or cold, he/she should be seated in a separate room. Parents will be asked to come and pick their wards.
Will schools provide mid-day meals?
No. Instead, students will be instructed to get lunch and drinking water from their homes.
What guidelines do teachers have to follow to ensure safety for students when classes resume?
Only teachers who have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to take classes in schools. In case any teacher has any Covid-19 symptoms, he or she should be asked not to come to school. Those aged 50 and above have been instructed to wear face shields as well, apart from masks made mandatory for all stakeholders including other staff, students, and parents coming to pick-up/drop wards.
What special measures do schools have to take to ensure Covid-19 guidelines are followed?
Schools have been directed not to hold any activity that involves children getting together in groups. Meanwhile, posters to generate awareness on the importance of sanitising hands and maintaining social distance will be displayed at various points within the campus.
Further, schools have been asked to introduce basic exercises, pranayama, and yoga activities in a bid to boost the child’s immunity. Teachers have been instructed to remind students not to touch common surfaces, chalks, dusters, and others’ water bottles at school unnecessarily.
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