Amidst the global coronavirus, schools and colleges have been shut since the initial outbreak of the virus. The education sector of the country has faced several challenges since then.
The education sector witnessed several students been deprived of their basic learning resources, whereas students in metro cities witnessed the standardisation of virtual learning platforms.
However, the hurdles of students are likely to be reduced down since, in a recent update, the Ministry of Education has announced guidelines for reopening of schools.
Schools Reopening in a Graded Manner
As per the latest updates shared by the ministry, schools in India will be reopened for the public from 15th October. Union Cabinet Minister for Education, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank stated that the schools would be opened in a graded manner ensuring all the safety measures.
Moreover, he further added that the States and Union Territories have been aiming at standard Operating Procedure for health, safety and hygiene of every individual once the school reopens.
As per the guidelines issued by the ministry, every student has been given an option to either join physical classes at the school or continue with online learning sessions from their homes.
Schools serving mid-day meals have been prepared to follow all the necessary precautions during their course of work.
Moreover, the ministry further insists that every student must have the consent of their parents before joining the school. Students who do not wish to re-join the physical classes can continue staying at home.
On the other hand, the school authorities have been reworking on the plan to ensure great flexibility in providing knowledge and attendance to students.
Detailed Guidelines issued by the HRD Ministry
Apart from the above-mentioned guidelines, students and parents must ensure that the following guidelines are also met adequately before joining the schools.
- Once the school reopens, the school authorities must ensure that necessary hygiene and health precautions are maintained. Proper sanitary procedures for disinfecting areas like classes, labs, grounds, water tanks, washrooms, etc. must be used.
- Proper air ventilation in different sections of the school must be maintained.
- Schools are advised to allot different timing slots for entrance and exit to the school premises. Moreover, new seating arrangements must be shared with the students to maintain social distancing.
- Other arrangements to organise academic classes, breaks, examinations and laboratory session must be replanned to follow social distancing norms.
- Schools are also advised to form different teams and authorities like emergency care unit, support staff, hygiene inspection, etc. for delivering quick solutions to any complication which resurfaces during the pandemic.
- Face masks and sanitisers have been made compulsory for every student, staff and teacher during the school premises.
- Breaks, academic classes, etc. have to be planned in such a manner that least human contact is ensured.
- Other than the necessary precaution, the school must keep a tab on the health history of the students. Anyone with even slight symptoms of the virus must be taken into immediate care, and parents must be informed immediately. Moreover, detention and isolation protocols must be delivered.
- School authorities must be in direct contact with nearest emergency centres, in case of uncertainties.
- While preparing mid-day meals, standard necessary precautions must be taken. As per the government’s guidelines, a hot and well-cooked meal must be served to the students.
Use of eLearning Tools to be encouraged
The global pandemic has posed several challenges to the children and students of the country. The loss of learning experience and resources are likely to be compensated when the school reopens.
However, parents are still in a dilemma to choose one of the options for their children. Therefore, the school authorities will be offering flexible opportunities for both online and offline classes.
Apart from the precautionary guidelines shared by the Ministry of Education, the government has also stated that no test assessment will be conducted until up to 2-3 weeks after the school reopens. Moreover, the assistance of ICT and online learning platforms are encouraged.
Every detail regarding the academic sessions must be delivered to the students beforehand. Teachers must ensure that every detail regarding the curriculum must be shared as well.
Since the classes will be conducting in both online and offline mode, therefore, the smooth transition of teachers must be made without hindering the academic session.
Teachers and school staff must ensure that necessary safety and hygiene guidelines are shared with the students to ease their emotional challenges.
Before, joining physical classes, students and their parents must collectively, thus, giving top priority to their well-being.
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