Education ministry releases guidelines for school reopening from Oct 15

File photo (Source @twitter)

New Delhi (NVI): The Ministry of Education today released guidelines for reopening of schools from October 15, in a graded manner.

As per the guidelines, the ministry has urged the States and Union Territories to prepare their own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for health, hygiene and safety and learning with physical/social distancing.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank took to twitter and said that students may attend schools only with the written consent of parents.

The Minister added that there will be flexibility in attendance norms and students may opt for online classes rather than physically attend school.

“Schools, allowed to, open must follow the guideline prepared by State/UT Education Departments based on SOP of DoSEL. The SOP/guidelines of DoSEL, Ministry of Education comprises of two parts: I. Health, hygiene & safety ii. Learning with physical/social distancing”, he tweeted.

In another tweet, Pokhriyal said there will be no assessment till up to 2-3 weeks of school reopening. “Use of ICT & online learning shall continue to be encouraged. The SOP also provides for guidelines on ensuring emotion well being of students and teachers with a reference drawn to Manodarpan initiative”, he tweeted.

On September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its Unlock 5 guidelines said that the state governments are allowed to open schools in a graded manner from October 15.

The guidelines further emphasises on following the health protocols as advised by the ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Moreover, precautions to be taken for preparing and serving mid-day meal in schools have also been laid down in the SOP.

The SOP also lists the roles and responsibility of the state and UT education departments, school heads, teachers, parents and guardians and how to carry out capacity building of different stakeholders.

Furthermore, a checklist for a safe school environment, as adopted from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) guidelines, is provided for parents and students to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Under the guidelines, the ministry also said that the needs of the most vulnerable students, including homeless and migrant children and those directly affected by COVID-19, will be given priority.

-RJV