Staggered timetables, 50% attendance in TN government’s SOP for reopening schools from Sept 1
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday issued the standard operating procedure to be followed by the schools reopening in the state following the receding second wave of Covid-19. The measures suggested include proper sanitation facilities in the campus, maintaining six-feet distance while seating the students, staggering time tables and creating awareness among students and teachers.
Earlier on August 6, the state government had said that the schools would be reopened for classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 following chief minister MK Stalin’s meeting with medical experts. The government had also asked schools to operate with 50% attendance at a time.
According to the SOP released on Wednesday, said that all students and teachers would be screened in a week’s time by medical teams and symptomatic students or staff shall not be allowed inside school premises. Further, the government also said the authorities must ensure that sanitizers or soap along with water should be made available.
In its general guidelines, the government said that “sufficient quantities of Vitamin C, Multivitamin tablets and other immuno-boosters” would be given to the children. It also said that 100% vaccination of teachers and other staff working in the school, along with that of students who are in the eligible age group should be ensured.
The government also asked the schools to ensure only 50% of the students are allowed at a time. “Health Inspectors/Block Health Supervisors/Non-medical Supervisors to be assigned to each and every school including private institutions to monitor the follow-up of SOPs,” the government order noted. It also said that the local body or the school management would be responsible for the creation of sufficient hand washing facilities.
The SOP also said that the school premises should be thoroughly sanitised before reopening and enforced the usage of contactless infrared thermometers. In drawing the seating plans, the schools must ensure that there should be a distance of six feet maintained between students. It also suggested the usage of outdoor spaces in the case of “pleasant weather.”
Placing emphasis on staggered timetables for enforcing physical distancing, the SOP suggested having 50% attendance rotationally on alternate days and also running the school in two shifts where the enrolment is higher. It also asked the schools to avoid any events or programs where enforcing the distancing rules is impossible.
The schools have also been asked to sensitise the students and the staff about the disease. It also said that the teachers and students from containment zones shall not attend the classes. Ensuring physical distancing at entry and exit points of the schools, displaying messages and signages about distancing and safety protocols have also been suggested by the government to the schools in the SOP.
As of Tuesday (August 17), 2,592,436 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in TN and 34,579 people have lost their lives. The active caseload was recorded at 20,225, according to a bulletin from the state government.