The Union Health Ministry has announced guidelines for conducting teaching activities in classrooms. Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwani Kumar Choubey shared a picture of the guidelines on his Twitter handle on Sunday. Ministry of Health releases Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Skill Training Institutes, Institutions of Higher Education have conducted courses in technical programs requiring laboratory work since September 21.
As per the guidelines, seating arrangements should be made to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks. The guidelines say that the activities in the classroom will be at different times, there will be adequate physical distance and there should be good cleanliness in the classroom. In addition, there should be a mixed time for classroom teachers and online studies in the academic schedule. Teachers have to ensure that they and students keep masks during teacher activities. Sharing items like laptops, notebooks, stationery is not allowed among students. The Ministry of Health had on September 8 issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the partial reopening of schools to seek guidance on a voluntary basis for students from Class IX to XII.
The SOP adheres to the 4 guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs which came into effect from 1st September. The Ministry of Home Affairs had said that states and union territories can be called to schools for online teaching or tele-counseling and related work from September 21 to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff at a time.
It says that students from classes IX to XII may be allowed to go to their schools on a voluntary basis, only in areas outside one zone, to seek guidance from their teachers and will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians. Students from Class IX to XII should have written permission of the guardian after which the students will be able to physically participate in the classes. The guidelines say that frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, sockets, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) and regular disinfection (use of 1% sodium hypochlorite) will be made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers.