Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 6
After the decision of reopening of schools, the education department has also issued detailed guidelines for schools in areas outside containment zones to ensure safety of the students amid Covid-19.
Punjab School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said the detailed guidelines on reopening of schools have been sent to all district education officers and school authorities for precise implementation while allowing students to attend physical classes.
Singla said after reopening schools, the online/distance learning shall also continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and attendance of all students will not be mandatory. “As the schools are already conducting online classes, and parents of some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so. The students will be able to attend the physical classes only with the written consent of parents,” the minister added.
Singla added that the parents should also ensure that their ward going to school will be wearing a mask and made them aware not to exchange masks with others. He added that the parents should also encourage their ward to wear full-sleeved clothes to minimise the interaction with any public surface.
Singla said, “If the strength of the 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 the classes in two shifts or call the students at alternate days, at their own level.”
He added that the staff and students belonging to containment zones shall not attend the school and other educational institutions. He said as per the recommendations of MoHFW, older, pregnant and other employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions, should preferably not be exposed to any frontline work requiring direct contact with the students.
He said the authorities will also ensure foot operated hand washing facilities in the schools and ensure availability of key supplies like contactless thermometers, disinfectants, soaps, etc., and arrange for availability of these essentials.
Singla added that they will also ensure sanitisation of school transport before plying and also ensure social distancing while transportation of students.
The education minister said the schools will mark the seats of students in classrooms ensuring distance of minimum 6 feet and similarly, social distancing shall also be maintained in the staffrooms, office area, hostels and other places of public interaction. He added that the schools will also ensure installation of posters/messages/stickers and signage at appropriate places reminding students about maintaining social distancing.
He said the schools will not undertake events where social distancing will not be possible. However, school assembly may be conducted by the students in their respective classrooms or outdoor spaces or other available spaces and halls under the guidance of the class teacher.