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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Delhi issues SOP on limited reopening of schools

This is the first move towards allowing students to visit their schools since the second wave of Covid struck the city.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
August 9, 2021 10:21:14 pm
Delhi schools, deli schools reopening, delhi schools sop, Delhi offline classes, Indian express, indian express newsThe SOP issued by the education department specifies that written consent has to be issued by parents of students who are willing to visit their school and that digital distance learning and online classes shall continue. (Representational)

The education department Monday issued its SOP for the limited reopening of schools for students of classes X to XII following the DDMA’s order on Sunday.

This is the first move towards allowing students to visit their schools since the second wave of Covid struck the city. After the national lockdown started in March 2020, schools opened in a limited way for senior students for preparations of board and final exams and practical work from January onwards. However, this came to a complete closure in April with the rise in the number of COVID cases in the city.

The DDMA order had stated that students of classes X to XII are now permitted to visit their schools “for admission related work including counselling/guidance and personal activities related to board exams”. It also stated that health check-ups and referral services conducted from schools can resume.

The SOP issued by the education department specifies that written consent has to be issued by parents of students who are willing to visit their school and that digital distance learning and online classes shall continue. It lists precautions that need to be followed in the school premises such as thermal screening before entry, guiding students not to share their belongings, sanitization of the premises, mask wearing and social distancing, and vaccination on priority of all teachers and staff.

The SOP is open-ended and leaves a lot of room for schools to decide how they want to call students for the limited activities permitted by the DDMA order. “The concerned Head of School shall make a specific schedule as per the capacity of classroom/ labs following Covid appropriate behavior,” it states.

An education department official stated that one of the key things that students need close interaction with their teachers for now is class XI students trying to decide which stream to select.

“They need guidance from their teachers for this.The CBSE has also already declared the assessment mechanism for this year through objective multiple choice questions and students need to be oriented with that. Students need to do their practical activities and teachers also need to keep track of what students are doing and where they need support. This is not resumption of offline teaching-learning but limited engagement with children so their essential needs can be met,” the official said.

Schools have said that they are not rushing into calling their students after the SOP has been issued, and that they are taking their time to plan carefully. “For now, I’m finding out about the vaccination status of all teachers dealing with these batches and I would also like to know the vaccination status of our students in class XII who are 18 and above. I’ve also told my teachers that we need to pen down exactly what purpose we want to call our students for and also find out from students what they’d most like help with. We can’t haphazardly call students. It requires shifting around the time-table as well,” said principal Mount Abu Public School Jyoti Arora.

Sukhbir Singh Yadav, head of a government school in Rohini also said that he would take a few days’ time to bring students back to school. “We will call only class X and XII students. We are thinking of calling them for three hours a day in a staggered schedule with around 12 students in a room so that teachers can address important queries in three subjects. The food thing is that all 109 members of our staff are vaccinated,” he said.

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