West Bengal to reopen schools from Feb 12. All you need to know
- The state government has said that students will only be allowed to attend offline classes with parental consent. Teachers have been demanding that classes should be resumed in a proper phased out manner, the state government has kept their demand under consideration
West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee announced on Tuesday that schools in the state will be reopening for Classes 9 to 12 from February 12, after being shut since March of last year. Chatterjee had previously stated that schools will be reopened once it’s safe for them to do so, citing a resurgence of infections after schools reopened in other states.
"There have been instances of people getting infected after the resumption of classes in another state, where schools had to shut again. We don't want to have the same experience in Bengal. We will take the decision of reopening school campuses at the appropriate time," Chatterjee had said in January.
West Bengal till February 1 has reported 570,177 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), with 179 new cases being reported on Monday. The recovery rate in the state currently stands at 97.26%.
Here is how the state plans to open schools for Classes 9 to 12:
1. Arrangements have to be made for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas, furniture, equipment, stationery, storage places, water tanks, kitchens, canteen, washrooms, laboratories, libraries, etc. on the school campus and ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces.
2. Proper working hand washing facilities in the school have to be maintained. School authorities have to ensure availability of key supplies like thermometers, disinfectants, soaps, etc.
3. The Union health ministry has asked school authorities to maintain a six feet distance between students. Similar rules should be followed by the staff and students in all the common areas.
4. Students, parents, and staff should be properly sensitised on the dos and don’ts of Covid-19 preventative behaviour.
5. Schools will be subjected to regular checks to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being duly followed.
6. Students and staff from containment zones should not be attending physical classes. They should also refrain from visiting containment zones if they are coming to school.
7. Attendance should not be mandatory. The state government has said that students will only be allowed to attend offline classes with parental consent.
8. Teachers have been demanding that classes should be resumed in a proper phased out manner, the state government has kept their demand under consideration.