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STATE GOVERNMENT ISSUES VARIOUS SOPs

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RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS FOR CONDUCT OF REGULAR CLASSES FOR STUDENTS OF CLASSES 11 AND 12

The Government of Nagaland has permitted the resumption of conduct of regular classes for students of classes 11 (eleven) and 12 (twelve)in all the Schools in Nagaland with effect from 2nd August 2021 subject to all the teachers and non-teaching staff having been fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or having taken the 1st(first) dose of vaccine against COVID-19, and at least 15 (fifteen) days have passed since taking the 1st (first dose), vide Order No NSDMA-ER-COVID19/301/2021(Part-II)/5514 Dated 17th July 2021.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic there is a need for taking further measures for preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19 on re-opening of Schools for the safety of the students, teachers, and all others concerned.

In this connection the State Government has issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the reopening of Schools with up to 50% attendance, for students of classes 11 (eleven) and 12 (twelve) on the preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19, as annexed, for strict compliance by all concerned throughout the State of Nagaland.

SOP FORREOPENING OF SCHOOLS FOR STUDENTS OFCLASSES 11 (ELEVEN AND 12 (TWELEVE) ON THE PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO CONTAIN SPREAD OF COVID-19

1.         Scope

This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken to prevent spread of COVID-19 when schools resume normal functioning for students of classes 11 and 12.

2.         Maximum allowed percentage of attendance of students in any class and requirement of mandatory vaccination for teachers/non-teaching staff

  1. The maximum allowed percentage of attendance of students in any class on a particular day shall be 50%.
  2. All the teachers and non-teaching staff should be fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or should have taken the 1st (first) dose of vaccine against COVID-19, and at least 15 (fifteen) days should have passed since taking the 1st (first dose).
  3. The schools planning to re-open shall submit the list of all the teaching/non-teaching staff along with the details of the vaccination status, as well as all the arrangements being made for ensuring adherence to the provisions of this SOP to the respective District Task Force (DTF) through the District Education Officer concerned. The DTF may carry out verifications as considered necessary, and on being satisfied of the overall preparedness of the school concerned, may grant permission for the re-opening of the school.
  4. The schools shall continue with the present system of online teaching while making preparations and awaiting clearance from the DTF for re-opening for conduct of the regular classes.

3.         Generic Preventive Measures

The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (teachers, employees and students) in these places at all times.

These include:

  1. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
  2. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
  3. Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.
  4. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
  5. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
  6. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
  7. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.
  8. The students, who are 18 years of age and above, and haven't taken any dose of vaccine against COVID-19, may be advised to get vaccinated at the earliest.

4.         All schools shall specifically ensure the following arrangements:

  1. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks etc.
  2. Schools shall prepare alternate day routine for classes so as to fulfill the parameters given in 2(a) & 3(i) above. For example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday for class XI, and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for classes XII etc.
  3. Schools shall frame the alternate day routine as per the enrolment in each class and the infrastructure facilities available.

b)    Some students may opt not to attend classes and prefer to study online while staying at home. Institutions may provide online study material and access to resources to such students for teaching-learning.

4.1       BEFORE OPENING UP OFSCHOOLS

a)         Planning of re opening of schools.

  1. Schools outside the containment zones only shall be allowed to open. Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend schools. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones.
  2. Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/ demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.
  3. Schools that were used as Quarantine Centres will be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before functioning of the school is resumed. Guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India for disinfection of common public places including offices may be referred to in this regard) (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesondisinfectionofcommonpublicplacesi ncludingoffices.pdf)
  4. Instead of biometric attendance alternate arrangements for contactless attendance shall be made by the school administration.
  5. At all times, the teachers and students shall maintain a physical distancing of6feet apart, wherever feasible. Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly.
  6. Hand washing facilities along with provision of soap shall be ensured.
  7. For ensuring queue management, inside and outside the premises, specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet may be made. Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms, office areas (including reception area), and other places (mess, libraries, cafeterias, etc.).
  8. Weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.
  9. Assemblies, sports and events that can lead to overcrowding are strictly prohibited.
  10. Schools should display State helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities etc. to teachers/ students/ employees to contact in case of any emergency.
  11. For air-conditioning/ ventilation wherever applicable, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
  12. Lockers of students will remain in use, as long as physical distancing and regular disinfection is maintained.
  13. Gymnasiums, if any, existing in the school shall remain closed.
  14. Swimming Pools, if any, existing in any school compound, shall remain closed.

b)         Planning and scheduling of activities

All employees who are at higher risk i.e., older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the students.

iGOT online modules training course on 'basic awareness on COVID'(https://diksha.gov.in/igot/explorecourse/course/do_3130103899712552) may be undertaken by all employees and students on the first day.

c)         Availability and management of supplies

  1. Appropriate back-up stock of personal protection items like face covers/ masks, visors, hand sanitizers etc. shall be made available by school managements to teachers and employees.
  2. Provide adequate supply of thermal guns, alcohol wipes or 1% sodium hypochlorite solutions and disposable paper towels, soap, IEC materials on COVID.
  3. Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.
  4. Ensure availability of sufficient covered dustbins and trash cans.
  5. Provision for proper disposal of used personal protective items and general waste in accordance with CPCB guidelines (available at: https://cpcb.nic.in/uploads/Proiects/Bio-Medical-Waste/BMWGUIDELINES -COVID l.ndf) shall be made.
  6. Housekeeping employees to be informed & trained about norms for waste management & disposal.

4.2       AFTER OPENING OF SCHOOLS

a)         At the entry point

  1. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser/ hand washing facilities) and thermal screening provisions. Multiple gates/ separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit.

 

  1. Only asymptomatic persons (teachers, employees and students) to be allowed in the premises. If a teacher/ employee/ student is found to be symptomatic, he/ she should be referred to nearest Health Center.
  2. Posters/ standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.
  3. Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators - duly following physical distancing norms shall be organized.
  4. Entry of visitors should be strictly regulated/ restricted.

b)         Conduct of activities in the rooms or open spaces within the school campus

  1. Seating arrangement to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks, etc.
  2. Staggering of activities to be done, with separate timings/ slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.
  3. The teaching faculty will ensure that they themselves and students wear masks throughout the conduct of the teaching/ guidance activities.
  4. Sharing of items like notebook, pens/ pencil, eraser, water bottle etc. amongst student should not be allowed.

c)         Conduct of skill based training in workshops/laboratories

  1. For practical activities in laboratories maximum capacity per session based on redesigned spaces, may be planned and scheduled accordingly.
  2. Ensure that the equipments have been disinfected, particularly the frequently touched surfaces before and after each use.
  3. Ensure a floor area of 4m2per person is available for working on equipment/ workstation.
  4. Ensure that members sanitize their hands/ wash with soap before and after using training equipment. For such purpose hand sanitizer/ hand washing facility should be provided at workstations/ simulation labs etc.

d)         Activities in common areas - library, mess/canteen, common rooms, etc.

  1. Physical distancing of 6 feet needs to be maintained.
  2. Persons using the common areas need to use mask/ face cover all the times.
  3. Cafeteria/ mess facility, if any within the premises, shall be allowed to function in accordance with MoHFW's, GOI SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices
  4. (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/SOPonpreventivemeasurestocontainspreadofCOVID19inoffices.pdf).

Further, it should be ensured that the persons/attendants running the cafeterias are fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or have taken the 1st (first) dose of vaccine against COVID-19, and at least 15 (fifteen) days have passed since taking the 1st (first dose).

e)         Transportation to and from the institution:

  1. If transportation facility is being managed by the institution, proper physical distancing, sanitization of transport vehicles/ buses (when permitted to ply) with 1% sodium hypochlorite, shall be ensured. Further the drivers and attendants should be fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or should have taken the 1st (first) dose of vaccine against COVID-19, and at least 15 (fifteen) days should have passed since taking the 1st (first dose).

4.3       Hygiene and Sanitation

  1. Daily cleaning/ sanitization of the floors shall be taken up.
  2. Provision of soap in toilets and hand sanitizers in other common areas insufficient quantity must be ensured.
  3. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas etc. before beginning of classes and at the end of the day.
  4. Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers, shall be disinfected with 70% alcohol wipes.
  5. Deep cleaning of all drinking and hand washing stations, washrooms and lavatories shall be ensured.
  6. Students and employees should be advised to dispose of used face covers/ masks in separate covered bins placed in classrooms, workstations and other common areas. The same may remain stored in the bins for 3 days and disposed of as dry general solid waste after cutting/ shredding.
  7. Students should not be involved in any of the cleaning activities for health safety reasons.

5.         Risk Communication

  1. Create awareness to ensure that the students do not gather when leaving the school and in their free time.
  2. Sensitize students, parents, teachers and employees to create awareness on COVID appropriate behavior, as detailed under generic measures above.
  3. If a student, teacher or employee is sick, they should not come to the school and follow necessary protocols in this regard.

6.         Psycho-social well-being

  1. Ensure regular counseling is done for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
  2. It is advisable that teachers, school counselors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of students.

7.         SOP to be followed in case a student/ teacher/ employee develops symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing)

  1. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from other.
  2. Inform parents/guardians as the case may be.
  3. Patient will remain isolated while wearing a mask/face cover till such time they are examined by a doctor.
  4. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the State or District Helpline.
  5. A risk assessment shall be undertaken by the District Task Force and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, their contacts and need for disinfection.
  6. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

8.         Hostels

  1. Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures. However, the sharing of rooms may not be allowed in hostels. Symptomatic students should not be permitted to stay in the hostels under any circumstances.
  2. Since residential students may be coming from different locations, and if they are 18 years of age and above, and haven't been fully vaccinated (taken both the doses) against COVID-19, or not taken the 1st (first) dose of vaccine against COVID-19 with at least 15 (fifteen) days having passed since taking the 1st (first dose), they shall bring COVID-19 negative test report through RT-PCR /True-NAT, and self-monitor their health for 14(fourteen) days.
  3. There should be no crowding in hostel areas where students live in close proximity and share common facilities and utilities. Hence, their numbers need to be limited appropriately to avoid crowding. Also, hostel students should be called in phases.
  4. Thermal Screening of all resident students should be ensured.
  5. Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.
  6. They will be referred to the nearest COVID treatment facility for clinical assessment and treatment.
  7. Density in dining halls, common rooms, playing areas should be limited, keeping in view the requirement of physical distancing.
  8. Hygiene conditions should be regularly monitored in kitchens, dining halls, bathrooms and toilets etc.
  9. Cleanliness is to be maintained in dining areas. Meals should be served in small batches, avoiding over-crowding. Take away options should be available for students and staff.
  10. It must be ensured that the meals are freshly cooked. A senior staff should monitor the same.
  11. Utensils should be properly cleaned.
  12. Wearing of face covers/ masks and proper sanitization of hands of the staff engaged for the preparation and distribution of meals should be ensured.
  13. Resident students and staff should avoid or limit visiting the markets. As far as possible, essential items may be made available within the campus.
  14. Hostels may define the number of students in dining halls at any point in time. Mess timings may be increased to avoid overcrowding.
  15. In case of likelihood of restrictions in some schools on the number of students who may be provided hostel facility on account of non-sharing of rooms and the need for maintaining adequate physical distancing in accordance with Para 8(i) above, the online mode of teaching shall be continued in such schools for those students who are unable to stay in the hostels.

9.         Any violation of the provisions of the above SOP will attract action as per legal provisions against the management of the school/institution.

                                                                                                (DIPR)

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