Unlock 5.0 – What to Expect When Schools Reopen?

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have released the Unlock 5.0 guidelines for reopening. Although the recommendations include provisions for opening up further activities beyond containment zones, the implementation of a strict lockdown in containment zones until 31 October 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus has been stressed.

As per the Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the right to open schools in a graded manner can be decided by the state government. Decisions on this will, though, only be taken after October 15 this year. The decision must be made in consultation with the relevant school based on their assessment of the situation.

Further it stated that online classes should be continuing to be preferred mode of teaching. Where schools conduct online classes, and if students want to continue online classes rather than attend school physically, they may be allowed to do so. Under the Unlock 5.0 rules, students can attend schools only with the written permission of parents, adding that “attendance” must not be “enforced, and must focus exclusively on parental consent.”

Below are the few tips for teachers to protect themselves and their students:

  • Physical distancing at school: Keep a distance of at least 1 metre from anyone present at school.
  • Practicing health and hand hygiene: Handwashing is one of the simplest, most cost-efficient and effective ways to stop germ propagation and to keep students and staff safe.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting tips for the classroom: Regular cleaning and disinfection of regularly accessed surfaces and items, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, machine keyboards, hands-on learning materials.
  • If students/staff appearing sick: Depending on the situation, they may need to be sent either to a hospital or can also go for home quarantine.

 

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