Representational image.(PTI file )
Representational image.(PTI file )

Uttarakhand government schools set to open on Monday after 7 months

The school education department has made all the preparations to open schools ensuring social and physical distancing.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Haldwani/Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON NOV 01, 2020 05:36 PM IST

After a gap of over seven months, schools will reopen for classes 10-12 in Uttarakhand from Monday.

The school education department has made all the preparations to open schools ensuring social and physical distancing.

Asharani Painuly, chief education officer of Dehradun district said that inspections by all block education officers have been conducted in all schools to ensure that all protocols of sanitisation, availability of masks, social distancing norms are in place.

“All inspections have been carried out and we are satisfied with the arrangements made at the schools. Only one private boarding school is opening in Dehradun as of now and many others are still awaiting consent from parents for sending their students to school. But all other arrangements have been made,” said the chief education officer.

She further said that only 50% students will be seated in one classroom.

“Classrooms usually have an occupancy of 40 students of which maximum 20 students only will be seated in one particular classroom. For schools with more number of students, shift system will be followed to avoid crowding,” she added.

According to the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Uttarakhand government for reopening schools, the school management will have to follow many conditions that include sanitisation of school premises before and after classes daily, arrangements be made in schools for sanitisers, handwash, thermal screening, first aid. If any student or teacher shows COVID symptoms, he or she should be immediately sent home, social distancing be ensured while students come and leave school, wearing of face masks by all students and teachers be ensured. The Uttarakhand government has also mentioned that schools who follow all the guidelines of the SOP will not be responsible if students test positive for COVID-19 after classes resume.

Prem Kashyap, president of principals’ progressive schools’ association, a private schools body in Uttarakhand, said that around 200 private schools in the whole state will be re-opening from Monday.

“Few schools will be re-opening from Monday, some from November 5 and rest after Deepawali. Different schools have chosen different dates to ensure that they make arrangements for following all the guidelines mentioned in the SOP of the state government,” said Kashyap.

He added that residential schools have made sure social and physical distancing norms are followed in dormitories, dining halls and other common spaces in the schools.

“Students from residential schools have been asked to re-join with a negative test report and will be first quarantined for a week before being shifted to their dormitories. All staff involved in the school kitchen will have to wear masks, head covers, then vegetables and groceries will be kept in the sun for at least four hours before meals are prepared. Visits by parents and family members will also be reduced and students will be allowed to meet family only for specific urgent reasons,” added Kashyap.

In Nainital district, only government schools will be re-opening.

KK Gupta, chief education officer of Nainital said “There are 190 government and government-aided schools in Nainital. According to the SOP issued by state government, sanitisation and seating arrangements have been made within two yards in these schools. Only government schools will opening from Monday as private schools have sought more time to comply with the guidelines of the SOP.”

Alok Saah, public relations officer of Nainital private schools’ association said, “We will be meeting the chief education officer of the district on Monday and raise our problems in front of them. After that we will meet and decide about opening for schools.”

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