Unlock 5.0: Guidelines For Reopening Of Schools From October 15

The Ministry of Education released guidelines but stated that the final SOPS will be designed by states

The Ministry of Education released guidelines for the reopening of schools from October 15 as prescribed by the Home Ministry in its Unlock 5.0 guidelines. The ultimate decision and guidelines will be determined by the respective states.

Union Minister for Education Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank took to Twitter to share the school reopening guidelines which have been divided into two sections. Schools are expected to follow the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's social distancing and health and hygienic guidelines. The second section deals with adopting new learning techniques while following the social distancing norms.

However, all states will not be reopening schools on October 15. Schools have been shut in several states since March. The Centre had earlier permitted schools to reopen for students of classes 9-12 on September 21 but even then had left the final decision on the states.

Health and Hygiene

Schools are expected to form task teams with earmarked responsibilities for Emergency Care Support, General Support, Commodity Support, and Hygiene Inspection. According to the Centre's guidelines, students will require letters of consent from their parents while students can continue studying from home. Students who are facing financial, social, or health constraints will be prioritized and special attention will be given to these students. Both the students and staff should be wearing masks at all times within the school premises.

While students will be allowed to enter into premises, flexible attendance and sick leave policies should be designed which permits students and staff to stay at home. Schools are also expected to sanitise all the furniture and surfaces and follow a seating arrangement which takes physical distancing into consideration. Schools should also provide mid-day meals by following all precautionary measures.

Learning and Technology

The guidelines further allow schools to make their own alternative academic calendars in accordance with their respective State Education Departments. Furthermore, the Ministry recommends that there should be no examinations and assessments till 2-3 weeks of reopening.

A lot of emphasis has been laid on teachers upskilling and integrating newer technologies. The Ministry designed Pragyata guidelines in July for training and orienting teachers as well as students which facilitate newer learning methodologies. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) also designed energized textbooks that have specific QR codes which when scanned provide digital content. Schools are expected to avail these digital learning technologies.

Teachers have to develop a roadmap describing the curriculum and discuss it with the students. Teachers have to provide the students with all the details about teaching methodologies, methods of assessment as well as the schedule, individual and group assignments as soon as school reopens.

Shifting the focus from rote learning to formative assessment, students will be encouraged to discuss concepts. The teachers and students will collaborate to determine their learning goals and outcomes and ways to achieve them.

Emotional safety and mental health of students finds a mention in the guidelines. Manodarpan activities will assist teachers, school counsellors, and health workers for ensuring emotional well-being.

Updated On: 2020-10-07T14:27:22+05:30
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