Updated: August 31, 2021 1:16:39 pm
ONLY 50 per cent students per class, staggered lunch breaks, mandatory thermal screening, alternate seating, a quarantine room — these are some of the guidelines that schools and colleges in Delhi will have to follow when they reopen on Wednesday.
While schools for Classes IX-XII, colleges and coaching institutions will reopen, it will not be compulsory for students to attend physical classes. Online learning will continue for those who opt out. Those who choose offline classes will have to get the permission of their parents/ guardians.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Monday issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed by institutes which decide to open. The schedule has to be staggered to avoid crowding in classrooms and outside; class size has to be limited to 50 per cent of the total strength. Apart from standard precautions on sanitisation, masks and physical distancing, institutes have also been directed to maintain a ‘quarantine room’ on campus in case a student or teacher displays symptoms.
In case of a double-shift system, the institutes will have to maintain a gap of at least one hour between the two batches of students. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be permitted to the institutes.
Meanwhile, several private schools in the city said they would not re-open on Wednesday, and would first gauge parents’ response, assess how many students would opt for offline classes, and formulate their time-tables which will have to be a hybrid of offline and online classes. Some said they may wait as long as a month to see how the reopening process plays out in other schools.
There are many government schools which are functioning as vaccination and ration distribution centres. These services will not be halted at these schools. According to the SOP, the section of the school used for these activities will be demarcated and separated from the rest of the building.
The SOP also requires teachers to speak to each student to check on their well-being, and provide emotional support as well as mentally prepare them to resume academic activities offline. They must 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”.