Government issues SOPs for re-opening of schools
Kohima, Feb. 1 (EMN): Following the announcement for resumption of regular classes for students from class 6 and above with effect from February 8, the directorate of School Education has issued standard operation procedures (SOPs) for strict adherence.
“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a need for taking measures for preventing and containing the spread of Covid-19 on the re-opening of the schools for the safety of the students, teachers, and all others concerned,” informed a notification from J Alam, who was given the charge of chief secretary on Monday.
Alam has also issued SOP for strict compliance with the reopening of schools for students of classes 6 to 12. SOPs for reopening of schools for students of classes 6 to 12 on the preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 are as follows:
This SOP outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken to prevent spread of Covid-19 when schools resume normal functioning for students of classes 6 to 12
2. Generic preventive measures
The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of Covid-19. These measures need to be observed by all teachers, employees and students in these places at all times.
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 and use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.
3. All schools (with classes 6 to 12 ) shall specifically ensure the following arrangements:
i. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks etc.
ii. Schools shall prepare alternate day routines for classes so as to fulfill the parameters given in 2(i) and 3 (i) above. For example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday for classes VI to VIII and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for classes IX to X etc.
iii. Schools shall frame the alternate day routine as per the enrolment in each class and the infrastructure facilities available.
iv. Supplementary online/distance learning shall be encouraged.
4.1 Before opening up of schools
A: Planning for re-opening of schools
i. Schools outside the containment zones only shall be allowed to open. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend schools. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones.
ii. Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/ demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitised with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.
iii. Schools that were used as quarantine centres will be properly sanitised and deep cleaned before functioning of the school is resumed. Guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, government of India, for disinfection of common public places including offices may be referred to https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/ Guidelinesondisinfeetionofcommonpuhlicplacesincludingoffices.pdf
iv. Instead of biometric attendance alternate arrangements for contactless attendance shall be made by the school administration.
v. At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible. Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly.
vi. Hand washing facilities along with provision of soap shall be ensured.
vii. For ensuring queue management, inside and outside the premises, specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet may be made. Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms, office areas (including reception area), and other places (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.).
viii. Weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.
ix. Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.
x. Schools should display state helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc. to teachers /students / employees to contact in case of any emergency.
xi. For air-conditioning/ventilation wherever applicable, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30° C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
xii. Lockers of students will remain in use, as long as physical distancing and regular disinfection is maintained.
xiii. Gymnasiums shall follow the provisions of the SOPs enclosed as Annexure D to Order NO.CSO/GAB-I/COM/GEN-I/2020/(A) dated 31st August 2020 (available at: https://covid19. Nagaland.govin/docs/1600410622.pdf)
xiv. Swimming pools (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.
4.2 After opening of schools
(a) At the entry point
i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser/hand washing facilities) and thermal screening provisions. Multiple gates/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.
ii. Only asymptomatic persons (teachers, employees and students) to be allowed in the premises. If a teacher /employee /student is found to be symptomatic, he/she should be referred to the nearest health center.
iii. Posters/standees on preventive measures about Covid-19 to be displayed prominently.
iv. Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators – duly following physical distancing norms shall be organized.
v. Entry of visitors should be strictly regulated/restricted.
(b) Conduct of activities in the rooms or open spaces within the school campus
i. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs desks etc.
ii. Staggering of activities to be done, with separate timings/slots,to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.
iii. The teaching faculty will ensure that they themselves and students wear masks throughout the conduct of the teaching/guidance activities.
iv. Sharing of items like notebook, pens/pencil, eraser, water bottle etc. amongst students should not be allowed.
(c) Conduct of skill based training in workshops/laboratories
i. For practical activities in laboratories maximum capacity per session based on redesigned spaces, may be planned and scheduled accordingly.
ii. Ensure that the equipment has been disinfected particularly the frequently touched surfaces below and after use.
(d) Activities in common areas – library, mess/canteen, common rooms, gymnasium etc.
i. Physical distancing of 6 feet needs to be maintained.
ii. Persons using the common areas need to use mask/face cover all the time.
iii. Cafeteria/mess facility, if any within the premises, shall remain close.
(e) Transportation to and fro the institution:
i. If transportation facility is being managed by the school, proper physical distancing, sanitization of buses/other transport vehicles (with 1% sodium hypochlorite) shall be ensured.
4. Hygiene and sanitation
i. Daily cleaning/sanitisation of the floors shall be taken up.
ii. Provision of soaps in toilets and hand sanitizers in other common areas insufficient quantity must be ensured.
iii. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% of sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures etc.) to be made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, etc.before beginning of classes and at the end of the day.
iv. Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers shall be disinfected with 70% alcohol wipes.
v. Deep cleaning of all drinking and hand washing stations, washrooms and lavatories shall be ensured.
vi. Students and employees shall be advised to dispose of used face covers/masks in separate cover bins placed in classrooms, workstations and other common areas. The same may remain stored in the bins for three days to dispose off as dry general solid waste after cutting/shredding.
vii. Students should not be involved in any of the cleaning activities for health safety reasons.
5. Risk Communication
i. Create awareness to ensure that the students do not gather when leaving the school and in their free time.
ii. Sensitise students, parents, teachers, and employees to create awareness on Covid appropriate behaviour, as detailed under generic measures above.
iii. If a student, teacher or employee is sick, they should not come to the school and follow
6. Psycho-social wellbeing
i. Ensure regular counselling is done for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
ii. It is advisable that teachers, school counsellors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of students.
7. SOP to he followed in case a student/teacher/employee develops symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing)
i. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
ii. Inform parents/guardians as the case may be.
iii. Patients will remain isolated while wearing a mask/face cover till such time they are examined by a doctor.
iv. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
v. A risk assessment shall be undertaken by the district task force and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, their contacts and need for disinfection.
vi. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.
8. Any violation of the provisions of the above SOP will attract action as per legal provisions against the management of the school/institution.