Tuesday, June 6, 2023

SOPs for reopening of schools for classes l to 8

Nagaland government has issued fresh SOPs for reopening of schools for classes 1 to 8 with effect from February 15, 2022.

1. Scope: This Standard. Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken to prevent spread of COVID-19 when schools resume physical/offline classes for the students of classes 1(one) to 8 (eight).

2. Requirement of Parental Consent: The School shall seek prior consent of the parents concerned for the attendance of any student for the physical/offline classes, and for those students the consent is not given, the present system of online teaching by the Schools for such students shall be continued.

3. Maximum allowed percentage of attendance of students in any physical class and requirement of mandatory vaccination/testing for teachers/non-teaching staff.

a) The maximum allowed percentage of attendance of students in any physical/offline class on a particular day shall be 50%.

b) All the teachers and non-teaching staff should be fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, and if not vaccinated, then should have been tested negative for COVID-19 through either RT-PCR or TrueNat or CBNAAT once in every 15 (fifteen) days.

c) The schools planning to re-open for the physical/offline classes shall submit the list of all the teaching/non-teaching staff along with the details of the vaccination status or testing status as the case may be, as well as all the arrangements being made for ensuring adherence to the provisions of this SOPs to the respective District Task Force (DTF) through the District Education Officer concerned.

d) The DTF may carry out verifications as considered necessary, and only on being satisfied of the overall preparedness of the school concerned, may grant permission for the physical/offline classes.

e) The schools which have cases of teaching/non-teaching staff submitting negative COVID-19 test report on account of not being vaccinated against COVID-19 as mentioned above, shall continue submitting the details of the COVID-testing status of such teaching/non-teaching staff every 15 (fifteen) days to the respective District Task Force (DTF)through the District Education Officer concerned.

f) The schools shall continue with the present system of online teaching while making preparations and awaiting clearance from the DTF for re-opening for conduct of the physical/offline classes.

4. Generic Preventive Measures

The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (teachers, employees and students) in these places at all times. These include:

i. Physical distancing of at least 6(six) feet to be followed as far as feasible.

ii. Mandatory wearing of face covers/masks by all concerned.

iii. Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.

iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.

v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.

vi. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

vii. Installation &use of Aarogya Sett. App may be advised for teachers, employees wherever feasible.

5. All schools shall specifically ensure the following arrangements

i. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks etc.

ii. Schools shall prepare alternate day routine for classes so as to fulfill the parameters given in 3(a) & 4(i) above. For example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday for class I, and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for class II etc.

iii. Schools shall frame the alternate day routine as per the enrolment in each class and the infrastructure facilities available.

iv. Schools may encourage and continue Online/distance learning.

5.1. Before opening up of schools

a) Planning of reopening of schools.

i. Schools outside the containment zones only shall be allowed to open. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend schools. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones.

ii. Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.

iii. Schools that were used as Quarantine Centres will be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before functioning of the school is resumed. Guidelines issued by Ministry of Health &Family Welfare, Government of India for disinfection of common public places including offices maybe referred to in this regard)

(https://wvvvv.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesondisinfectionofcommonpublicplacesincludin goffices.pdf)

iv. Instead of biometric attendance alternate arrangements for contactless attendance shall be made by the school administration.

v. At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet apart, wherever feasible. Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly.

vi. Hand washing facilities along with provision of soap shall be ensured.

vii. For ensuring queue management, inside and outside the premises, specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet may be made. Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms, office areas (including reception area), and other places (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.).

viii. Weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher-student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

ix. Gatherings/congregations, assemblies, and events that may lead to overcrowding should be avoided. ‘However, group activities in games. sports, music, dance or other performing art classes may be allowed on a smaller scale for students of class 6 (six) and above, only if it is feasible to maintain physical distance and following health safety norms.

x. Schools should display State helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc. to teachers/ students/ employees to contact in case of any emergency.

xi. For air-conditioning/ventilation wherever applicable, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

xii. Lockers of students will remain in use, as long as physical distancing and regular disinfection is maintained,

xiii. Gymnasiums, if any, existing in the school shall remain closed.

xiv. Swimming Pools, if any, existing in any school compound, shall remain closed.

b) Planning and scheduling of activities

All employees who are at higher risk i.e., older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the students. Similarly, necessary precautions may be taken in respect of the children with co-morbidities.

iGOT online modules training course on ‘basic awareness on

COVID(https://diksha.gov.in/igot/explorecourse/course/do_3130103899712552) may be undertaken by all employees and students on the first day.

c) Availability and management of supplies

i. Appropriate back-up stock of personal protection items like face covers/masks, visors, hand sanitizers etc. shall be made available by school managements to teachers and employees.

ii. Provide adequate supply of thermal guns, alcohol wipes or 1% sodium hypochlorite solutions and disposable paper towels, soap, IEC materials onCOVID-19.

iii. Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.

iv. Ensure availability of sufficient covered dustbins and trash cans.

v. Provision for proper disposal of used personal protective items and general waste in accordance with CPCB guidelines (available   at: https://cpcb.nic.in/uploads/Projects/Bio-Medical-Waste/BMWGUIDELINES COVID l.pdf) shall be made.

vi. Housekeeping employees to be informed &trained about norms for waste management & disposal.

5.2 After opening of schools

a) At the entry point

i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser/hand washing facilities) and thermal screening provisions. Multiple gates/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.

ii. Only asymptomatic persons (teachers, employees and students) to be allowed in the premises. If a teacher/employee/student is found to be symptomatic, he/she should be referred to nearest Health Center.

iii. Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.

iv. Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators – duly following physical distancing norms shall be organized.

v. Entry of visitors should be strictly regulated/restricted.

b) Conduct of activities in the rooms or open spaces within the school campus

i. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks, etc.

ii. Staggering of activities to be done, with separate timings/slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.

iii. The teaching faculty will ensure that they themselves and students wear masks throughout the conduct of the teaching/guidance activities.

iv. Sharing of items like notebook, pens/pencil, eraser, water bottle etc. amongst student should. not be allowed.

c) Conduct of skill based training in workshops/laboratories

i. For practical activities in laboratories maximum capacity per session based on redesigned spaces, may be planned and scheduled accordingly.

ii. Ensure that the equipments have been disinfected, particularly the frequently touched surfaces before and after each use.

iii. Ensure a floor area of 4m2per person is available for working on equipment/workstation.

iv. Ensure that members sanitize their hands/ wash with soap before and after using training equipment. For such purpose hand sanitizer/hand washing facility should be provided at workstations/simulation. labs etc.

d) Activities in common areas – library, mess/canteen, common rooms, etc.

i. Physical distancing of 6 feet needs to be maintained.

ii. Persons using the common areas need to use mask/face cover all the times.

iii. Cafeteria/mess facility, if any within the premises, shall remain closed. Page 4 of 7

e) Transportation to and from the institution:

(i) Sanitization of school transportation, interior and exterior, on regular basis at least twice a day — once before students board the transport and once after they de-board may be done by using 1% sodium hypochlorite solution/spray.

(ii) A proper disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, he, steering, door handles, keys, etc., should be done. 70% Alcohol solution can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable, e.g., metal.

(iii) School Driver and conductor should maintain physical distance at all times particularly within rooms/ spaces designated for the drivers. They should ensure physical distancing among students in the bus/cab. They shall follow the required do’s and don’ts related to COVID 19. School drivers/ conductors residing in containment zones shall not be allowed to board the vehicles.

(iv) The drivers and attendants should be fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or should have been tested negative for COVID-19 through either RT-PCR or TrueNat or CBNAAT once in every 15 (fifteen) days.

5.3 Hygiene and Sanitation

i. Daily cleaning/sanitization of the floors shall be taken up.

ii. Provision of soap in toilets and hand sanitizers in other common areas insufficient quantity must be ensured.

iii. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas etc. before beginning of classes and at the end of the day.

iv. Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers, shall be disinfected with 70% alcohol wipes.

v. Deep cleaning of all drinking and hand washing stations. washrooms and lavatories shall be ensured.

vi. Students and employees should be advised to dispose of used face covers/ masks in separate covered bins placed in classrooms, workstations and other common areas. The same may remain stored in the bins for 3 days and disposed of as dry general solid waste after cutting/shredding.

vii. Students should not be involved in any of the cleaning activities for health safety reasons.

6. Risk Communication

i. Create awareness to ensure that the students do not gather when leaving the school and in their free time.

ii. Sensitize students, parents, teachers and employees to create awareness on COVID appropriate behavior, as detailed under generic measures abo ye.

iii. If a student, teacher or employee is sick, they should not come to the school and follow necessary protocols in this regard.

7. Psycho-social well-being

i. Ensure regular counseling is done for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

ii. It is advisable that teachers, school counselors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of students.

8. SOP to be followed in case a student/teacher/employee develops symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing)

i. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from other. ii. Inform parents/guardians as the case may be.

ii. Inform parents/guardians as the case may be.

iii. Patient will remain isolated while wearing a mask/face cover till such time they are examined by a doctor.

iv. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the State or District Helpline.

v. A risk assessment shall be undertaken by the District Task Force and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, their contacts and need for disinfection. The management of cases and contacts will be done as per the existing protocol (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FinalGuidaanceonManagementofCovidcasesversion2.pdf and https://ncdc.gov.in/showfile.php?lid=750

vi. If there are one or two cases reported, the disinfection procedure will be limited to places/areas occupied and visited by the patient in past 48 hours and work can be resumed after disinfection as per laid down protocol. In case of lager numbers of cases being reported at the school, the whole block or building, as the case may be, should be disinfected

9. Hostels may be opened only for students of class 6 (six) and above.

i. Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures. However, the sharing of rooms may not be allowed in hostels. Symptomatic students should not be permitted to stay in the hostels under any circumstances.

ii. Since residential students may be coming from different locations, if they are 15 (fifteen) years of age and above, and haven’t taken even a single dose of vaccine against COVID-19, they shall bring COVID-19 negative test report through RT-PCR /True-NAT, and self-monitor their health for 7 (seven) days.

iii. There should be no crowding in hostel areas where students live in close proximity and share common facilities and utilities. Hence, their numbers need to be limited appropriately to avoid crowding. Also, hostel students should be called in phases.

iv. Thermal Screening of all resident students should be ensured.

v. Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.

vi. They will be referred to the nearest COVID treatment facility for clinical assessment and treatment.

vii. Density in dining halls, common rooms, playing areas should be limited, keeping in view the requirement of physical distancing.

viii. Hygiene conditions should be regularly monitored in kitchens, dining halls, bathrooms and toilets etc.

ix. Cleanliness is to be maintained in dining areas. Meals should be served in small batches, avoiding over-crowding. Take away options should be available for students and staff.

x. It must be ensured that the meals are freshly cooked. A senior staff should monitor the same.

xi. Utensils should be properly cleaned.

xii. Wearing of face covers/ masks and proper sanitization of hands of the staff engaged for the preparation and distribution of meals should be ensured.

xiii. Resident students and staff should avoid or limit visiting the markets. As far as possible, essential items may be made available within the campus.

xiv. Hostels may define the number of students in dining halls at any point in time. Mess timings may be increased to avoid overcrowding.

xv. In case of restrictions in some schools on the number of students who may be provided hostel facility on account of non-sharing of rooms due to the need for maintaining adequate physical distancing in accordance with Para 9(i) above, the online mode of teaching shall be continued in such schools for those students who are unable to stay in the hostels.

It further said that any violation of the provisions of the above SOP will attract action as per legal provisions against the management of the school/institution.


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