The MP Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MPCPR) wants that primary and middle schools in the state to remain shut. It has recommended that only high school and higher secondary schools should be reopened.
The Commission has issued this advisory following the Union Government’s guidelines leaving the decision on reopening of the schools from October 15 to the state governments. “Students from classes one to eight should not be asked to come to schools and even in case of senior students, regular teaching should be resumed only for classes 10 and 12 and the government should wait for the situation to normalise before allowing students of classes nine and eleven to attend classes,” Brajesh Chouhan, member of the Commission said in a letter addressed to the principal secretary of the school education department.
He added that the district education officers (DEOs) should inspect all the schools in advance to ensure that they have made the necessary arrangements for following all Corona-protection norms. The Commission has also issued a detailed Standard Operating Procedure for the reopening of the schools, which includes instructions for the parents, students and school management. “It is mandatory for the schools to follow this SOP,” Chouhan told Free Press.
The SOP says that only 22 students should be seated in 55-seater buses and only one or two in autorickshaws and vans. A distance of six feet should always be maintained between students when they travel from and to from the schools. It said that the buses should be sanitised as per the WHO norms before the students are allowed to enter them.
The other key points of the Commission’s SOP include:
* All students should compulsorily wear masks and hand gloves.
* A distance of six feet should be maintained between students in the class rooms.
* A Covid-19 Infection Awareness and Safety Committee should be formed in all schools with representatives of teachers, students and parents as its members.
* Posters, banners etc listing Covid-related precautionary norms should be put up on the premises of schools.
* Class rooms and furniture should be thoroughly sanitised every morning.
* Students should be encouraged to wash their hands after every period.
* The toilets should be cleaned and sanitised twice or thrice every day.
* Wearing of uniforms and socks and shoes should not be compulsory.
* If the school does not have enough space to accommodate students in keeping with the distancing norms, it should be run in two shifts.
* The body temperature of all the students should be measured at the main gate of the school.
* The students should be asked to eat their tiffins in the classrooms.
* After the students return from school, their clothes should be immersed in warm soap water and their bags should be washed.
* Students should be asked to take a bath after they are back home. .
* All teachers should make a declaration that they are healthy and have no Covid-related symptoms.