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SOP Issued For Reopening Of Schools By Odisha Government

by Ankita Mohanty
SOP Issued For Reopening Of Schools By Odisha Government

Just a few moments after the declaration of reopening of schools for Class X and XII students from July 26 by the Odisha Government, the School and Mass Education Department has issued an SOP for the schools to follow.

Following guidelines have been mentioned by the Additional Secretary of S&ME department to the Director of Higher Secondary Education, Director of Secondary Education, Chairman of CHSE, President of Board of Secondary Education:

  1. a) Online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged. Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
  2. b) Online and classroom learning will go in tandem with each other and should continue to share timelines and daily schedules to ensure synchronization.
  3. c) Students may attend schools/institutions in consultation with their parents or guardians. Attendance must not be enforced
  4. d) The District Collector will have the final authority to make decisions in this regard to the time and method of school reopening in exceptional circumstances for all the schools in the district

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for health, hygiene and other safety protocols before the opening of schools include:

  1. Only schools outside the containment zones shall be allowed to open. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, these decisions will be taken by the District Collector.
  2. The District Collector will also direct the relevant schools to immediately shut down in case their zone is declared as a containment zone.
  3. Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas including furniture, libraries, laboratories, storage places and areas of common use shall be sanitized with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.
  4. Schools may not reopen without 100% access to potable drinking water and adequate functional toilets for all students. Any school without access to the above must first make these arrangements before reopening.
  5. Hostel facilities are not to be opened at this point in time. Detailed SOP for Hostel operations will be issued when Hostel reopening is deemed safe.
  6. School provided transportation should also be discouraged to reduce risk. Parents must ensure they take responsibility for the child’s commute to school. Where plying. transport facilities may run at a maximum of 50% capacity with adequate sanitization before picking up and after dropping students.
  7. High-risk staff members with severe ailments or underlying conditions must take extra precautions.
  8. No student should be coerced to come to school. Only those parents and students who feel the comfortable attending school should do so

Provisions required to be adopted by the school include:

  1. For ensuring social distancing and queue management: Inside and at the entrance of the premises, specific markings on the floor/ground with a gap of 6 feet should be made
  2. Inside classrooms, students should be made to sit at safe distances/alternate desks Fixed seating should be ensured. A particular seat/space should be earmarked for each student (for example: based on roll number) so that there is limited exposure to other students’ physical spaces
  3. Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms (by earmarking seats for teachers at an adequate distance), and other common areas (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.) with relevant markings as required
  4. If available, temporary space or outdoor spaces (in case of pleasant weather) may be utilized for conducting classes, keeping in view the safety and security of the children and physical distance protocols
  5. There must be adequate soap (solid/liquid) and running water in all washrooms and toilets. Hand sanitisers etc. for the teachers, students, and staff must be available mandatorily in each classroom. Students should be encouraged to sanitize their hands when entering and leaving classrooms and toilets.
  6. Any staff entrusted with cleaning/sweeping duties must be informed and trained about the cleaning/sanitization processes as well as general norms for waste management and disposal
  7. The school should display state helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc. to teachers/students/employees to contact in case of any emergency. Posters related to the preventive measures about COVID-19 must also be displayed.
  8. A separate isolation room has to be marked in the school and kept ready. This room may be used in case any student or staff develops Covid symptoms.

Every school must determine how to run the school based on the number of students and the number and size of classrooms available. Maximum 20-25 students should be allowed to sit in a classroom to ensure safe distancing among students. For schools with an adequate number of classrooms, all students can be asked to come on a daily basis.

School timings should be as usual. Recess/Break should be staggered for different classes to ensure there is no overcrowding at common spaces and toilets.

Students should be encouraged to bring healthy and nutritious food from home and should be advised not to share it with fellow students.

Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to crowding are prohibited.

No outside vendor should be allowed to sell any eatables inside the school premises or within 100 meters from the entry gate/point.

Sensitization of teachers, parents, staff, and members of School Management Committee:

  1. Before the opening of the school, a meeting of all SMC/SMDC members and any other parents who desire to attend the meeting shall be called by the Head of School
  2. In this meeting, a detailed discussion on the safety protocols must be held, inputs of all members incorporated, and consent taken from SMCSMDCs. Proceedings of the meeting must be recorded in the relevant register maintained in the school
  3. The SMC/SMDC must also be encouraged to walk around the school premises and ensure that all hygiene and safety precautions are there to their satisfaction.
  4. All this information should also be shared with the parents’ community through WhatsApp messages or SMS. The message also includes dos/don’ts that the parents/students must follow.

Written consent should be sought from parents for their child to attend school. Students opting to study from home with the consent of their parents may be allowed to do so.

Furthermore, a monitoring team to be made along with SMCISMDC members.

Every school must have a Covid Monitoring Team comprising of 1 teacher & 1 parent member from SMC/SMDC.

The responsibility of the Monitoring Team will be to ensure health and hygiene within the school This team will come to school 30 mins early and leave 30 mins after school hours to ensure full cleanliness/sanitization in school.

Emergency response- Have a clear plan in place for contingencies and take action anytime there is an emergency or risk in school.

In addition, the team will also support the HM with preparation and implementation of all calendars, schedules and activities in the school. HM will decide the school schedule, calendar, take decisions on academic activities with a key consideration towards ensuring the right balance between learning and safety of students.

Odisha Schools to Reopen From July 26 For Classes 10 and 12



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