The Tamil Nadu government, after permitting the reopening of schools for Classes 10 and 12 students from Tuesday, has released a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for schools. As per the order the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shanmugam, online classes will continue to be an alternate mode of teaching and students can opt for online education by submitting a letter with the consent of parents. The schools will also function for six days in order to cover the syllabus in the remaining time.
The Tamil Nadu government has permitted schools to reopen for Class 10 and 12 in the first phase on January 19. Accordingly, the schools will conduct classes with not more than 25 students and the schools can also split the students into batches.
Here are the other general details mentioned in the SOP:
Ø Online/distance learning will continue to be an alternate mode of teaching.
Ø If schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
Ø Private school managements can re-open their schools after submitting a written consent to concerned regulatory authorities.
Ø Students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of their parents.
Ø Students willing to study from home with the consent of the parents may be allowed to do so. Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.
Ø Follow-up on the progress of the learning outcomes of all such students shall be planned appropriately.
Ø All students and teachers/ staff shall wear face masks compulsorily inside and outside the school premises.
Ø All students shall be provided with Vitamin and Zinc tablets by the Health Department.
The SOP also instructed the schools to follow health, hygiene and safety protocols before opening the schools. The State government said that the school premises, including the furniture, should be cleaned and disinfected. The schools should arrange for hand wash facilities along with soap and water and sanitisers should be provided. The schools should also ensure the availability of key supplies like thermal scanners, disinfectants, soaps, pulse oxymeters etc and other essentials. The teachers and staff have temporarily been permitted to use alternate arrangement formats instead of biometric attendance for teachers and staff.
A minimum of six-feet physical distance should be maintained when queuing up for entry and inside the school. Assemblies, sports events and cultural should be avoided. No period shall be allowed for Physical Education and NSS and NCC activities shall not be allowed, the SOP said.
The schools within containment zones should not be reopened and those students and staff members coming from containment zones should be allowed to come to school only after undergoing quarantine.
The SOP added, “The first step on the reopening of the schools will be health profiling and screening of students/staff. Information from students, teachers and other staff (Health Profiling) should be collected in the form of a self-declaration regarding their health condition. A health check-up by a team of doctors shall also be arranged as per a schedule, to screen the students and teachers for diseases/ailments/co-morbid conditions.”
Students with co-morbidities, employees who are at higher risk, older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions can be advised to take extra precautions, it said.