Updated: August 1, 2021 11:05:36 pm
HYGIENE AND social distancing will be the focus areas for Punjab schools, as they finally reopen for in-person classes from August 2 (Monday) onwards.
Punjab education department officials and members of school managements have been directed to ensure proper cleaning of premises and classrooms and adherence to all Covid-19 safety norms, as per the guidelines of the Government of India and the Punjab government, as schools finally re-open from Monday after being shut for months.
Punjab school education minister, Vijay Inder Singla, on Sunday said that in view of the present Covid situation and after a nod from the Chief Minister, the state had decided to reopen all schools for all classes from August 2 (Monday) onwards.
The minister also directed the district education officers to ensure that both doses of the Covid vaccine had been administered to both the teaching and non-teaching staff before allowing them to conduct in-person classes, and asked the officers to also ensure availability of vaccine for school staff on a priority basis in liaison with respective district administrations. He said that random testing will also be conducted in schools with a 1:100 ratio for students, and the secretary of school education will be reviewing the situation on a weekly basis.
The guidelines issued by the state government on Sunday read, “If the strength of students is large in the school and social distancing norms are not maintainable, in that case, school head/management may take a decision whether to hold classes in two shifts or call students on alternate days, at their own level… There must be at least 6 feet distance between students in the revised seating plan. It is advisable to mark the seating that students will occupy.” Virtual classes will continue as usual for students who are not able to attend in-person classes, the guidelines further stated.
He said that detailed guidelines have been issued and they will soon be circulated to all schools.
The Cabinet minister said that the schools will be conducting in-person classes from pre-primary to senior secondary level. He added that school timings will remain the same (8 am to 2 pm) and parents will have to provide written consent before sending their children to schools.
Singla said that the reopening of schools would play an important role in the assessment of the learning of the students during the pandemic as the teachers were able to contact students through virtual classes only. He said that after the assessment of all students, teachers would focus on the areas which would require more attention. He said that the reopening of schools will also provide a chance for teachers to teach the practical subjects in a better way, by conducting practical classes.
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