Odisha govt issues SOPs for distribution of textbooks to school students

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 8 (ANI): The Odisha government on Friday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for distribution of textbooks and notebooks to the students of various schools in Odisha in view of the situation arising due to COVID-19 outbreak.

According to an official statement of Odisha government, these procedures are meant to guide school authorities of all schools in the state in the distribution of textbooks to the parents/guardians following the precautions and infection prevention protocols as prescribed by health department from time to time.

"During the prevailing lockdown, all schools have been closed. By continuous initiatives from government level, textbooks have been provided to all students of Class 1 to Class 8 of schools under the school and mass education department for the academic year 2020-21. It has come to notice that some schools have faced challenges to provide textbooks to their respective students," the statement said.

It further stated that the distribution of books can be taken up in schools located in Green Zones and Orange Zones following precautionary measures of social distancing, use of mask and hand hygiene.

"Distribution of textbooks in Red Zone can also be taken up following precautionary measures of social distancing/use of mask and hand hygiene as prescribed by the Health and Family Welfare Department. Distribution of textbooks is not allowed in containment zones under any circumstances. It can be taken up after the zone comes out of the containment category, deviance in compliance to this SOP may lead to stern action against the concerned school authorities as per disaster management act/rules," the statement said.

The school authorities have to schedule their process of distribution of textbooks days wise (number of parents/guardians to be distributed of Text Books) and the Parents/ Guardians should be given a prior intimation of the distribution schedule through WhatsApp/ Phone messages so that there is no unnecessary crowding at the textbook distribution centres.

Parent/guardians should come to the school point to receive textbooks. They must wear mask/ cloth as per guidelines issued by the Health Department.

The school authorities should ensure adequate sitting/waiting space for the parents/guardians (preferably 30 people with 15 of them at counters and 15 in the waiting lobby) to enable them to maintain social distancing norms and all parents and guardians are to be provided hand sanitiser/soap and water for disinfecting their hands.

The school staff engaged in the counters for distribution of textbooks should also wear mask/ cloth and gloves and maintain social distancing norms, the statement further said. (ANI)