New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: Mumbai has reopened the schools for students in classes 8 to 12 today, October 4, after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allowed to resume physical classes. However, BMC has issues with strict Standard Operation Procedures (SoPs) that all schools will have to follow.

The schools, including students, teachers and staff, will have to follow strict COVID-19 protocols, and students are required parents consent to attend the school physically. Also, a maximum of 15-20 students will sit in one class,  mandatory to wear masks and maintain social distancing.    

Here have a look at complete COVID-19 guidelines issued by BMC:

Approval of School Management Committee and Consent of Parents

- School Management Committee should discuss with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) about reopening of schools and detailed planning of it.

- Parent consent is necessary for students to attend the school. School management should ensure this.

Mapping the School with nearest Primary Health Centre:

- All schools management are required to link their respective school with the nearest Primary Health Centre so that health facilities can be made available to the students as and when required.

- If any student with fever, cold, shortness of breath, scratches on the body, redness of the eyes, cracked & reddened lips, swelling of fingers, hands and joints, vomiting-diarrhoea and abdominal pain is seen then arrangements should be made to take them to the health facility immediately.

- If the child is facing any physical or mental difficulties, it must be brought to the notice of his/her parents through a teacher or SMC member and guide them to go for medical check-up and medication.

Safety and Preparedness:

- Before starting the school it is necessary that all the Teachers and Non-teaching staff in that school are vaccinated otherwise 48 hours prior RTPCR test for Covid-19 should be done. The certificate/report issued by the laboratory for this test should be verified by the School Management Committee.

- According to the instructions of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, all employees who are at higher risk level under COVID-19 such as elderly employees, disabled employees, pregnant women employees and employees who are undergoing medical treatment should be more careful and not come in direct contact with students

- Entry and Exit should be kept separate if possible for school children and staff. A separate schedule should be set for this in such a way that it avoids the congestion in school.

- If any family member of the student is COVID-19 positive such student should not be sent to school instead he/she should be kept under home quarantine.

- No one other than students and school staff should be allowed to enter the school premises except for urgent work.

- Thermal scanning of each student should be done daily at the time of entering the school. In case of any suspicious symptoms of any kind of disease, immediately inform the parents and the Primary Health Centre.

- If any student or school staff is found to be COVID-19 positive, the Headmaster should immediately close the school, disinfect the school, isolate them and start medical treatment on the advice of the Medical Officer.

- In case any school staff or student is suspected of COVID-19, then he/she be kept in a room separate from the others and he/she should be given immediate medical treatment. Care should be taken that such students should not feel aloof and afraid.

- Students should be made accustomed to enter and leave the school in a queue keeping social distancing.

- Masks are mandatory for everyone all the time.

- Make it a habit to wash their hands with soap/hand wash when needed.

- The ban on spitting should be strictly enforced.

- Teachers should be careful to ensure that too many students do not gather in one place.

- Schools and classrooms should be disinfected regularly.

- Toilets/Washrooms should be cleaned at periodic intervals using appropriate disinfectants.

- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of classrooms and outside classroom surfaces such as toilet handles, study materials, teaching materials, desks, tables, chairs, etc, should be done.

- Air condition facilities in classrooms should not be used if the need arises then the temperature of ACs should be maintained above 24°C. Windows and doors should be kept clean and fully open so that there is a circulation of air.

- Everywhere guidelines regarding physical distancing, use of masks, etc should be displayed.

- Special signs such as squares, circles etc, should be used to avoid crowding in queues at a place like drinking watering facilities, hand washing facilities, toilets etc.

- Assembly, Gatherings, Annual day functions and other similar events which may lead to a large gathering of students should not be organized.

- All the waste in and around the school should be disposed off regularly.

- Restrict the number of persons using the lift.

Awareness and Mobilization program:

- Awareness programmes should be organised in collaboration with parents, School Management Committee members, people's representatives, alumni, teachers, NGOs, social workers, etc.

- Create awareness about the importance of reopening of school, and the safety of students through local daily newspapers, social media WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) etc.

Seating Arrangements:

- Minor repairs in school buildings should be done immediately.

- Only one student should be seated on a desk bench in each class in a zig-zag manner following the criteria of social distancing. If possible, the student should have a fixed place to sit daily. The standard wise seating arrangement of students along with his/her seating position and time must be displayed in front of every classroom.

- A class should have a maximum of fifteen to twenty students at a time.

School Attendance:

- Students' attendance at school is not mandatory and will completely depend on parent's consent

- 100 per cent Attendance is not mandatory.

- Rewards/Certificates for 100 per cent attendance should not be given due to the COVID-19 situation. In future, post-pandemic such rewards can be given to students.

- If the number of students is more, then students can be called in two sessions per day. The duration of the actual class should not exceed 3 to 4 hours. There should not be any lunch break.

- If the number of students is more, group the students as per the requirement and according to their group (50% students per group) should be called on alternate days.

Teaching - Learning:

- In the first one to two weeks, students should be allowed to get used to school without focusing on direct learning

- Distribute the textbooks, notebooks etc. to the students

- Teachers should revise the syllabus completed online in the academic year 2020-21 and should take decisions accordingly.

- Every teacher is required to make an academic plan of the year by understanding the educational level of the students in his/her class.

- Arrangements should be made for children to carry minimum textbooks or notebooks.

- Students should be encouraged to learn using the Diksha App and educational videos available on BMC YouTube Channel/MCGM website.

- Every week, each teacher should hold an online meeting of the parents to inform them about the topics taught during the week as well as discuss the help required from parents.

- Students should be instructed to submit homework online. Teachers should ensure that there is no exchange of books.

Counselling:

- Understand each student's background and interact with students accordingly.

- Special care should be taken to interact and communicate with students showing signs/symptoms such as excessive irritability, irritability and frustration over small things, not showing interest in anything, showing age inconsistent behaviour (eg. changes in eating and sleeping habits), the abnormal decline in learning abilities, etc.

- To provide information about Covid disease and its prevention.

- Students with Covid positive history should be treated as normal students.

- Teachers should solve the doubts/answer the questions raised by parents through online/offline mode.

- If students do not follow the instructions, they should be brought to the notice of their parents.

Precautions to be taken while leaving school :

- Only one student is allowed on a seat in a school bus/private vehicle.

- Cloth masks should be washed regularly. Teachers should make parents aware of this.

- After returning from school, students should change their uniforms. Used school uniforms should be washed with soap/ detergents daily. Schools can make school uniforms optional.

- Teacher-Parent meetings should be held online. Education should be provided to the students up to Class VlI through online/offline mediums without calling them to school.

- A Checklist of all activities to be followed should be displayed in school. Daily SMC members/one of the parents should check the action taken as per the list.

- All Supervisory Officers should visit the school in a planned manner to ensure that it is functioning in a safe and clean environment as per the above guidelines and provide appropriate guidance if necessary. Also, coordinate with the respective Assistant Commissioners and Health Department officials.

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv