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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Staggered lunch breaks, quarantine room among guidelines for reopening of Delhi schools

DDMA Guidelines for School Reopening in Delhi:Heads of schools are to prepare timetables according to the capacity of their classrooms and laboratories, with approximately 50% of students of the classroom’s capacity to be seated in it.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 30, 2021 4:35:02 pm
Students in a school in Delhi (File)

Delhi Schools Reopening, DDMA New Guidelines: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority Monday issued its order permitting schools, colleges, and other educational institutes to re-open for students in class IX and upwards from September 1. The DDMA has also issued the SOP to be followed in all such institutes while allowing students to return to them.

According to the order, the list of institutes permitted to re-open from Wednesday — with a maximum of 50% of their capacity in classrooms — are schools, colleges, educational/coaching institutes, skill development and training institutes, other training institutes and libraries.

Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national capital, the Delhi government on Friday had announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from September 1.

Guidelines for reopening schools in Delhi

According to the SOP issued for this, heads of schools and institutes have been directed to consult their parent stakeholders by conducting meetings with SMC and PTA members to finalize their readiness plans for opening.

It will not be compulsory for students of permitted grades to report to schools, and only those with written parental consent will be allowed. Online learning will continue for those who opt-out of attending school physically. Further, students, teachers, and employees living in containment zones will not be permitted to report to their institutes.

Heads of schools are to prepare timetables according to the capacity of their classrooms and laboratories, with approximately 50% of students of the classroom’s capacity to be seated in it. According to a school’s capacity and student strength, they may stagger the school schedule to avoid crowding in classrooms and at the school entry and exit. Schools may also stagger lunch breaks. Buildings from which double shift schools operate have to maintain a gap of at least one hour between the last group of the morning shift and the first group of the second shift.

Apart from standard precautions on sanitization, masking and physical distancing, institutes have also been directed to maintain a ‘quarantine room’ on campus for the event that a student or teacher displays symptoms while at school.

There are a large number of government schools that are functioning as vaccination and ration distribution centres. These services will not be halted at these schools. The SOP directs that the part of the school used for these activities be demarcated and separated from the part which will be used for academic activities.

The SOP requires teachers to speak to every student to enquire about their well-being, and provide them emotional support as well as mentally prepare them to resume academic activities online. They are to try and understand the current academic levels of the students and “bridge the learning gaps to strengthen and recapitulate the foundational subject-specific competency of previous class”.

The DDMA has also issued a checklist for schools to prepare before re-opening, to ensure that all the conditions in the SOP are fulfilled.

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