Come September 21 and students of Class 9 and Class 12 would be able to go to school on a voluntary basis to seek guidance from teachers, as part of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's SOP on partial reopening of schools.
"Health Ministry issues SOP for partial reopening of Schools for students of 9th-12th classes on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers in the context of COVID-19," the health ministry tweeted on Tuesday.
However, the SOP added, "This will be subject to written consent of their parents/guardians. Such visits and teacher – student interaction must be organized in a staggered manner."
The decision to open schools for Class 9 and Class 12 students comes with a rider: Only schools outside containment zones would be allowed to open. Furthermore, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones would not be allowed to attend schools.
As per the SOP issued by the ministry, safety measures need to be observed by teachers, employees and students at all times.
The safety measures include: i. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
ii. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
iii. Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.
iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
vi. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
vii. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.