New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: After remaining close for around seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools outside containment zones in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Sikkim reopened on Monday. The schools opened with strict guidlines and only students whose parents gave written consent were allowed to enter. Also, social distancing is being followed in classrooms and students and teachers will wear face masks. This comes days after the Centre released guidelines for Unlock 5.0, allowing schools to reopen from October 15 in a 'graded manner'.

Schools reopen in Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, schools outside the containment zones reopened for the students of Class 9th to 12th. The students were seen wearing masks and they were allowed only after temprature checks.

"Students, whose parents gave written consent, were permitted entry. We aren't allowing more than 20 students in a class," news agency ANI quoted PS Ganesh, a private school manager as saying.

The state government has said that classes will be held in a staggered manner and "all the necessary protocols including social distancing and proper sanitisation will have to be followed".

"In the first phase, Classes 9 to 12 may start in these schools. The schools must run in two shifts of smaller durations, to ensure student safety," said deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma earlier.

According to the guidelines, only 50 per cent of students in a class will be allowed to go to schools. The remaining 50 per cent can come the next day. The guidelines have noted that symptomatic students will not be allowed to enter the school premises.

The state government has further noted that priority should be given to calling those students to school who do not have access to online teaching.

Punjab:

The Punjab government has also allowed schools outside containment zones to reopen from Monday for students of class 9th to 12th.

As per the guidelines, schools will open only for three hours a day and COVID-19 safety protocols will have to be followed. The state government has also noted that only one student will be allowed to sit on a single bench.

"If the strength of the students is large in the school and social distancing norms are not maintainable, in that case, School Head/ Management may take a decision whether to hold the classes in two shifts or call the students at alternate days, at their own level," said state education minister Vijay Inder Singla earlier.

"Once the classes will be resumed, a special team of officers of the education department will be formed to implement SOPs in the schools," he noted.

Sikkim:

In Sikkim, the state government has decided to reopen all schools in a 'graded manner' from Monday. The state government has informed that winter holidays have been done away this year to make up for the lost time.

According to the state government students of classes, 11 and 12 will be able to attend schools voluntarily from October 19, but each of them will have to carry written permission from parents or guardian.

Similarly classes 6-8 will resume on November 2 and classes 3, 4 and 5 on November 23, all voluntarily, and subject to the COVID-19 situation prevailing at that time, the state government noted.

It has also noted that schools will have to "strictly comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the Union Ministries of Education and Health".

Schools across the country were closed on March 24 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in wake of the coronavirus crisis. However, the Centre has now allowed to reopen them in a 'graded manner'.

"Where 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," the Centre said in its Unlock 5.0 guidelines.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma