The state government recently announced the reopening of schools in Maharashtra on October 4.
"All the schools in rural areas will resume physical classes for standards 5th to 12th," said school education minister Varsha Gaikwad. Physical classes for standards 8th to 12th would resume everywhere in urban areas, she added.
"Though schools will reopen in the entire state, there is no compulsion for students to attend physical classes. Consent of parents will be necessary if they want to attend," the minister added. As per a survey conducted by the school education department, more than 70 percent parents favoured reopening of schools, Gaikwad said.
However, for schools in Mumbai , Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday said that the final call is yet to be taken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
"The final decision will be taken by the civic administration next week. The state government has announced the reopening of schools; however, it has left the final decision about its implementation to the local governing bodies," Pednekar said on Saturday.
She added that at present more than 70 per cent of the city’s teachers have been fully vaccinated and those left will be inoculated soon by arranging special drives.
"We have already discussed the possibility of restarting school for Classes 8-12. Before taking the final call, the SOPs will need to be studied thoroughly," Pednekar said.
In light of this, let's take a look at states where offline classes have resumed and the Standard operating procedures (SOPs) followed by them.
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, schools in Gujarat were reopened for students of Classes 6 to 8 on September 2.
The institutes are also required to allow only 50 percent of students on alternate days. Moreover, schools are required to ensure that social distancing, wearing of face masks and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.
A student in Gujarat getting his temperature checked as part of COVID-19 guidelines| ANI
Jammu and Kashmir: On September 5, Jammu and Kashmir Government ordered the reopening of schools for students of class 12 and 10 and staff with 50 per cent capacity. According to the guidelines, the school premises should be sanitised, and screening should be done at the school gate. The guidelines further stated that parents' consent is necessary, without which students would not be allowed to attend.
Schools in Srinagar reopened on for classes 10 and 12 in adherence to COVID-19 protocols| ANI
Schools for Classes 9 to 12 have reopened in Tamil Nadu from September 1.
The Standard Operating procedure released by the Directorate of Public Health mentioned that only 50 per cent of the students be present on the campus at a time depending on the strength.
Dr. Manikantan, Principal, Sarvodaya Public School, Erode while speaking to IANS said, "We are planning for a shift system and I hope that the Directorate of School education will allow the shift system as well as alternate working days. We are planning to have students of Classes 10 and 12 to be in school during the morning time and students of Classes 9 and 11 in the afternoon. This suits us better than the alternate days model."
The Delhi government allowed schools and educational institutions to resume physical classes in a phased manner from September 1.
According to the DDMA guidelines, a maximum 50 per cent of students per classroom may be called to schools depending upon their capacity.
The DDMA has said that students, teachers, and other employees living in COVID-19 containment zones will not be allowed to come to schools and colleges.
Lunch breaks may also be staggered and preferably be held in open areas as students will remove masks while having food, the guidelines added.
While the government has noted that the vaccination centres and activities like ration distribution which were going on in different schools will continue, the DDMA said the area being used for these activities should be separated from the area which will be used for academic activities.
"All schools and colleges are advised to ensure that a quarantine room is available for emergency use. Routine guest visits should be discouraged," the guidelines said.
Schools reopened in Haryana for classes 4 and 5 on September 1, and students.
The state had allowed the reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12 over two months ago. Students of classes 6 to 8 were allowed to return to schools later as COVID-19 cases continued to fall.
As per the guidelines, only one student is allowed to sit on a desk, and sharing food or stationery items is prohibited.
A gap of at least six feet has to be maintained between two students, and thermal scanning and hand sanitisation is to be done at the entrance.
Masks have to be worn, and provisions made to provide one if a student is found not wearing a face cover, the guidelines stated.
Educational institutions reopened in Telangana on September 1 but the student attendance was thin for the first week. Barring residential, social welfare, and tribal welfare schools with hostel facilities, all schools re-opened but very few students attended the classes as the majority of parents remained apprehensive about about sending their wards.
The SOP's issued by the authorities state that schools should not force any student to attend offline classes without the parent's permission and those willing to attend lectures from home should be allowed to do so. The schools were also prohibited from penalising students failing to attend offline lectures
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, schools in Rajasthan reopened on September 1 for students from Classes 9 to 12.
The SOP mandates that teaching and non-teaching staff should have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, the guidelines state that drivers of buses, auto-rickshaws etc responsible for driving students to schools should also be inoculated with one dose.
The schools have reopened with 50% capacity students and with restrictions on assembly prayers and sports activities.
High schools, high madrasas, residential schools and day boarding schools for Class 10 students in Assam reopened from September 20.
According to the SOP's, a district where the positivity rate goes above 2 percent will have to shut educational institutions till the rate goes below 2 percent.
They further stated that every class will have only 30 students and the class teachers will have to form new sections if there are more students in each class, according to reports from Hindustan Times.
The schools in Uttar Pradesh reopened for classes 9 to 12 from August 16.
Anvita Verma Incharge of Lucknow city Montessori School's senior section said, "Our session started but due to lockdown, the schools were closed again. For this, we are following the Covid protocols. At the entrance gate, there is thermal scanning. Sanitizers have been put on every floor. Mask is compulsory for students and teachers and staff members as well. Social distance is being followed properly." "In the sitting arrangement also we are maintaining the social distancing," she added.
Schools in Karnataka reopened for students from classes 6 to 8 in areas where the Covid-19 positivity rate is below 2 per cent.
The state government had earlier on August 23 allowed the reopening of schools for students from classes 9 to 12
According to the guidelines, students are required to submit a consent letter from their parents to attend offline classes. The lectures for classes 6 to 8 students will be held on alternate days with 50 percent capacity.
(With inputs from agencies)
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