The State has issued a detailed set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) as schools reopens for Classes X and XII
Goa has finally taken the final call to re-open schools for students of Classes X and XII from November 21. This partial reopening in Goa will be governed by an SOP released by the State Government to ensure the safety of students, teachers and other staff at educational institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic. All schools and educational institutions, including coaching centres were shut down in the state since March, with the precautionary imposition of the nationwide lockdown against the spread of COVID-19.
The SOP Details
According to the guidelines released by the State, all schools have to ensure that no more than 12 students are seated in a single classroom. This pupil group should also maintain high sanitation standards and keep a safe distance of minimum 6 feet from each other. The state has advised to conduct lesson in bigger classrooms such as library, computer labs and science labs if the standard classrooms do not allow the prescribed distance. Group activities such as sports and assemblies have been suspended as of now. Schools, however, can conduct yoga classes, given the students use their personal yoga mats.
All schools are to further make sure that no other person(s) enters the school premises except students, teachers and school staff. Sensitization of students to COVID-19 precautions has to be initiated by school authorities, where they must be urged to not share personal belongings with others, including tiffin-boxes, water bottles, text books, and other stationery items.
The Goa Government suggested the schools to try out the odd-even formula for classes, oscillating the student crowds from different standards in order to stagger crowd on school grounds. The health protocol has also proposed to run schools in shifts in case of high student enrolment. Reducing the shift hours has been counselled so that the same teaching staff is able to manage the big student body.
The guidelines detail that the standardised kit of personal protection equipment such as face shields, masks, hand sanitizers etc shall be provided by the school management to all employees and teachers. They training staff in skill-based classes/laboratories and the student members have to sanitize themselves before and after using the machines and equipment, which should also be sanitized after every use. Besides this, the school campus, classrooms along with desks and chairs need to deep cleaned and sanitized to maximise student safety.
The importance of physical/offline classes can not be neglected to establish an effective learning programme. At the same time, this system also exposes young students to the threat of coronavirus - which can only be curbed if all schools and institutions confirm to the thorough SOP laid down by the state. We urge school managements to cooperate with the state to arrest the spread of coronavirus while initiating a new normal.