School sin Delhi shall continue to remain closed till September 30, 2020 even as the country continues the phase-wise opening of various activities. The Ministry of Health and Family welfare released a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed during the partial resumption of school activities. Students of standards 9-12 can attend school on a voluntary basis for receiving guidance from their teachers. Such resumption of school activities shall commence from September 21, 2020.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have issued generic precautionary measures along with a specific measure that schools must follow while permitting students of classes 9 to 12. All states and Union Territories are expected to comply with these guidelines to inhibit the spread of the virus while enabling the partial resumption of schools. According to the instructions, schools located outside of containment zones are allowed to function. Furthermore, students and teachers who live in containment zones are not allowed to come to school. Prior to the opening of schools and educational utilities, strict sanitation of the premises has to be carried out. Schools used as COVID19 facilities have to undergo strict sanitation before giving entry to teachers and students. The guidelines also suggest that up to 50% teaching and non-teaching faculty can attend school for online teaching, tele-counselling, etc.
Students of class 9th to 12th are provided with the option to attend school physically or virtually on a voluntary basis and with prior permission from their parents or guardians. Student-teacher interactions, as well as the opening of schools, must be carried out in a phased/staggered manner. During the phase-wise resumption of schools, online/distance learning shall be encouraged. Students, non-teaching staff and students must maintain a gap of 6 feet wherever feasible so as to not neglect social-distancing protocols. Employees who are pregnant, old or suffering from any other medical conditions should stay extra careful, as the schools reopen in a staggered manner. Personal protection gears, masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, thermal guns, disposal paper towels, etc must be made available for teachers and students by the school management.
During the staggered opening of schools, certain activities remain prohibited. Swimming pools, assemblies, sports and events leading to overcrowding are strictly prohibited. Outdoor activities to boost-up student-teacher interactions must be carried out by following strict social-distancing protocols. Schools are also advised to resort to contactless attendance methods instead of biometrics. Staff-rooms, cafeterias, mess, libraries, etc must also abide by the social distancing norms issued by the government. In most cases, such areas within school premises must remain closed.
COVID19 specific norms regarding the planning and scheduling of school activities, conduction of skill-based training in workshops/laboratories, transportation, hygiene and sanitation, entry and post-entry to school rules, etc have also been announced by the government. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, education institutes were shut since March 16. They are now scheduled to partially reopen in September 2020 under the guidance of the health ministry.