Assam Govt Releases SOP for Reopening of Educational Institutes | Assam News

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Assam Govt Releases SOP for Reopening of Educational Institutes

G Plus News | October 31, 2020 12:34 hrs

The Government of Assam in Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education Department has notified the revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for re-opening of Schools/Colleges/Engineering Colleges/Polytechnics/Private educational institutions as well as government and private training and coaching institutes/universities in the State of Assam from classes VI upwards maintaining all the protocols of safety Guidelines under COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Standard Operating Procedure will come into effect from 2nd November 2020.

The SOP is applicable for Private Institutions as well as coaching Institutions. The Private Institutions has to follow the Guidelines as cited in the following paragraphs. However, all hostel facilities in schools and Colleges will remain suspended until further Orders.


The General Guidelines include: 


1. There will be re-opening of schools from 02nd November, 2020 from classes VI to XII and all UG/Degree Colleges/Engineering Colleges/Polytechnics/University/All Govt. and private educational institutions and private training and coaching institutes.


2. Classes from I to V will remain suspended until further orders.


a) Staggered timetable will be followed for all the classes from VI to XII.

b) In Upper Primary, Secondary and Sr. Secondary schools, for students of class VI, VIII, X and XII, classes will be conducted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fixation of first batch and second batch of students will be done by the Head of the Institution (Say for example class VI and X in the morning shift and class VIII and XII in the afternoon shift).

c) And in schools, for students of class VII, IX and XI, classes will be conducted on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Fixation of first batch and second batch of students will be done by the Head of the Institution (Say for example class VII and IX in the morning shift and class X in the afternoon shift).

d) The Staggered timetable for all schools is cited at Para B of this guideline. There will be two batches for each class. However, if in any class, total number of students is less than 20, then division in batch will not be required.

e) The first batch of students will come at 08.00 AM and stay up to 12.00 Noon and the second batch of students will come at 12.30 PM and stay up to 03.30 PM and the
Head of the institution will prepare daily routine chart for imparting lesson to the students and equal importance will be given to all the subjects.

f) The first batch of students will have their midday meal from 11.30 AM to 12.00 Noon and the next batch will have midday meal from 12.30 PM to 01.00 PM. 

g) The Head of the Institution, President of SMC/SMDC of the Schools shall ensure that the cook cum helpers are to do COVID test (Swab test) before resuming regular cooking and serving of hot cooked midday meal in the schools. Regular COVID test for cook cum Helpers is required to be ensured and has to be done after a gap of every 15 days or in case of any symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty in breathing etc.,

h) All concerned stake holder/ functionaries are to take necessary steps for resuming regular cooking and serving of hot cook midday meal to the children in the school campus based on the attendance of the students as per staggered timing mentioned in the SOP. However SMC/SMDC shall distribute food security allowance to the eligible absentee children as per entitlements/ norms following the guidelines of distribution of food security allowance.

i) The Schools/Educational Institutions shall have to be sanitized on every weekend (preferably on every Sunday).

j) Regarding sanitization of schools it will be the joint responsibility of the SMDC/SMC of the schools, Deputy Commissioner of the District, Joint Director of Health Services, Inspector of Schools, DEEO, BEEO.

k) On every Sunday there will be community mobilization involving the head of the Educational Institution, Village Headman (Gaonburha), Parents, Guardians, interested NGOs, SHG, Volunteers regarding precaution and awareness on physical social distancing about COVID-19 etc., maintaining health and hygiene, Yoga, Meditation, commutation, prepare and disseminate posters, banners, brochures, info graphics etc., on COVID-19 related issues.

l) Students should be made aware about proper and scientific use of Mask, frequent change of Mask, sanitization, maintenance of physical distance of minimum 6 ft. both inside and outside the classroom.

m) The Teaching and Non-Teaching staff of all Educational Institutions and Cooks/ Helpers engaged in preparation and serving of Midday Meal among the students should be medically tested for COVID-19 after every 30 days and in case of symptomatic case the testing should be done immediately.

n) The Hostels of all Educational Institutions shall remain closed for one month and until further orders.

o) Regular cleaning and disinfection of the classrooms toilets corridor etc., shall have to be done.

p) Compulsory use of Masks/ Sanitizers by all.

q) Arrangements for potable water for hand washing with soaps. Install hand washing station, hygienic drinking water points, toilets and urinals to allow physical distancing of at least 1 to 2 meters and ensure these facilities are accessible to children with disabilities.

r) Social distancing in classes/ assembly/dining hall for distribution of Mid-day-Meal etc. space will be created in the classroom/hall to ensure that the childrens desk stands one meter apart and responsibility for such arrangement would lie on the Head of the institution.

s) Before the schools reopen, R.A.T. of all Teachers/Cooks/ Staff members have to be done and thereafter periodic testing at an interval of 30 days from time to time. And considering the huge number of teaching and non-teaching staff of institutions ranging from upper primary schools to universities and the time factor involved in testing (both testing and value of results) testing has to be planned by District Administration in view of the various challenges posed in conducting such large number of test.

t) Temperatures check of all students/teachers etc. shall be done every day through thermo scanner.

u) Contact with the nearest PHC/CHC in case of fever, cough, difficulty in breathing / medical emergency.

v) A District level task force Chaired by Deputy Commissioner of the District and consisting of District Heads of the concerned line Department as members will be responsible for ensuring enforcement of the SOP. Notification will be issued by Education Department.

w) The Schools used as quarantine centres should be properly sanitized before reopening. Those educational institutions where quarantine centres were/are setup are to be thoroughly sanitized. Sanitization should not merely be limited to the school building and it should include the entire premises, desks and benches, toilets etc. it should be an extensive sanitization.

x) Schools shall not be opened in containment zones till further instructions from the Govt.

y) Students/teachers/school administrators who have been quarantined (home/institutional) can attend school provided they produce medical fitness certificate relating to COVID-19 issued by a competent medical authority. Care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing of students and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19.

z) Whenever any single COVID-19 positive case is detected in the school premises and thereafter the school should be opened next day only for COVID 19 testing (R.A.T) of the students teaching, non-teaching staff, cooks cum helper etc. The District Administration/ SMC/SMDC/Head of the Institution shall jointly take necessary steps for R.A.T.


aa) Whenever multiple COVID-19 positive cases are detected in the school premises and thereafter immediately the school/Educational institution will be closed for a period of 7(seven) days. Subsequently after closure of the school/ educational institution the school building including the entire premises desk and benches, toilet stations/ drinking water station etc., should be thoroughly sanitized. Thereafter, after 7(seven) days the school will be re-opened with due permission from Deputy Commissioner of the District.

bb) In respect of private educational institutions social/physical distancing shall be maintained and buses will carry 1/3 intake of the students in the bus. The school buses should be properly sanitized twice daily.

cc) In respect of those educational institutions which do not have potable water/drinking water facilities/stations, the school shall not be re-opened on 2nd November 2020 and decision in this connection will be taken by Deputy Commissioner of the District.

3. Attendance of students must not be enforced and shall be purely based on parental consent.


4. The staggered timetable for colleges are as follows:


a) Staggered time table will be followed regarding which final decision will be taken by the college authority.

b) Student of UG first semester will have their classes on Monday and Thursday.

c) Student of UG third semester will have their classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

d) Student of UG fifth semester will have their classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

e) On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the college shall arrange for the classes in such a way so as to avoid too much crowding of the college campus. For example, college may conduct the classes of third and fifth semester in two shifts, i.e. Day (8.30 AM to 12.30 PM) and Afternoon (1 PM to 5 PM)

f) Students who are unable to attend classes in their respective colleges because of some extreme circumstances may opt to attend classes in a college of their locality with prior permission from the concerned authorities of both the colleges. However, this should be taken as a temporary measure.

g) For PG Classes the college will follow the guidelines of the parent University/UGC.


5. The staggered timetable for Engineering, Polytechnic colleges, ITIs are as follows:


a) Online as well as Blended or Mixed mode of Teaching will be followed by the each Institution.

b) Blended or Mixed mode of Teaching will consist of a judicious mixture of face to face teaching (maintaining physical distance of 6ft.) and online teaching. Staggered timing will be prepared by the Head of the Institution Semester wise.

c) Each Institute will make a routine of face to face teaching (as per COVID-19 Protocol) and online teaching which may consist of multiple sections, multiple class timings etc. as required. For example, three days by face to face teaching and three/two days on line teaching for a particular section. A rotational mechanism among the sections may also be prepared.

d) In continuation of earlier notification, each Institute will constitute a Multi stakeholder Committee to address the Covid-19 related issues within the Institute, as Institutional
Disaster Management Plan. Representative from DTE, Health and District civil administration should also be included in the Multi-stakeholder Committee in addition to students, parents, faculties. The minutes of the meeting are to be uploaded in the public domain.

e) A sub Committee for Hostel Management may be formed from the members of the multi stakeholder Committee to address the hostel matters after necessary clearance is given by the Govt. for opening of Hostels.


6. Online mode of education will continue for students who prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend schools/Colleges.


7. The health, hygiene and safety protocols of COVID-19 as issued by the Health & Family Welfare Department/NHM, Assam has to be followed in coordination with the District Administration.


8. Every School/College authority should coordinate with the nearest Health Centre/Joint Director of Health service, in case of emergency and related health check up.


9. Students commuting in School/College transport should feel safe and all safety protocols to be followed.


10. Use of face cover/masks by students, teachers, staff and all stakeholders is mandatory and there should be thorough sanitization and cleaning of all areas inside the School/College premises prior to re-opening. Working hand washing facilities should be available in the School/College and Coaching Institutes.


11. SOP for Universities


The University situated within the State of Assam will prepare their individual SOP for attending classes by the students within the University Campus strictly following the protocols of Covid-19 and the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI vide order No.40-3/2020-DM1 (A), Dtd.  0/9/2020.


The STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE FOR HEALTH, HYGIENE AND OTHER SAFETY PROTOCOLS are as follows:


A. Proper cleaning and sanitation facilities.


Use of face covers/masks by students, teachers, staff and all stakeholders is mandatory.
There should be arrangement for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas, furniture equipment, stationary, storage space, water tanks, kitchen, canteen, washroom, laboratories, libraries, etc., on School/College campus.

Working hand washing facilities in the School/College should be arranged.

There should be availability of key supplies like thermometers, disinfectants, soaps, etc., and the thermometer to be used should be a calibrated contactless infrared digital thermometer.
Ban on spitting shall be strictly enforced.

All garbage should be disposed in dustbins and must not be allowed to be piled up anywhere in the School/College premises.

Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of washrooms during the School/College hours should be ensured.

Mandatory hand washing for all students and staff at regular intervals must be ensured. Hand washing time should be minimum of 40 seconds as health protocol.

Availability of safe and clean drinking water for students must be ensured. Drinking from water bottles by students maybe encouraged.

Cleanliness and hygiene should be maintained during mid-day meal preparation, serving, during eating and after eating. Utensils should be properly cleaned.


B. Staggered timetable for Schools


Classes from I to V will remain suspended until further orders.

Staggered timetable will be followed for all the classes from VI to XII.

For students of class VI, VIII, X and XII, classes will be conducted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For students of class VII, IX and XI, classes will be conducted on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There will be two batches for each class. However, if in any class, total number of students is less than 20, then division in batch will not be required.

The first batch of students will come at 08.00 AM and stay upto 12.00 Noon. The second batch of students will come at 12.30 pm and stay upto 03.30 pm.

The first batch of students will have their midday meal from 11.30 AM to 12.00 Noon and the next batch will have midday meal from 12.30 PM to 01.00 PM. The Standard Operating Procedure for mid-day meal, cooking and distribution is at Para N.


C. Staggered Time Table. 


(i) for colleges


Staggered time table will be followed regarding which final decision will be taken by the college authority.

Student of UG first semester will have their classes on Monday and Thursday.

Student of UG third semester will have their classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Student of UG fifth semester will have their classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the college shall arrange for the classes in such a way so as to avoid too much crowding of the college campus. For example, college may conduct the classes of third and fifth semester in two shifts, i.e. morning shift (8.30 am to 12.30pm) and Afternoon shift (1 PM to 5 PM)

Students who are unable to attend classes in their respective colleges because of some extreme circumstances may opt to attend classes in a college of their locality with prior permission from the concerned authorities of both the colleges. However, this should be taken as a temporary measure.

College may continue with online classes along with offline classes.

For PG Classes the college will follow the guidelines of the parent University/UGC.


D. Staggering Time Table. 


(ii) for Engineering College and Polytechnics


Online as well as Blended or Mixed mode of Teaching will be followed by the each Institution.
Blended or Mixed mode of Teaching will consist of a judicious mixture of face to face teaching (as per COVID-19 protocol) and online teaching. Staggered timing and morning shift classes and afternoon shift classes semester wise shall be fixed by the Head of the institution as per this SOP.

Each Institute will make a routine of face to face teaching(as per COVID-19 protocol) and online teaching which may consist of multiple sections, multiple class timings etc. as required. For example, three days by face to face teaching and three/two days on line teaching by a particular section. A rotational mechanism among the sections may also be prepared by the Head of the institution.

Each Institute will constitute a Multi stakeholder Committee to address the Covid-19 related issues within the Institute, as Institutional Disaster Management Plan. Representative from DTE, Health & Family Welfare Department and District administration should also be included in the Multi-stakeholder Committee in addition to students, parents, guardians, faculties. The minutes and meeting of the Committee shall be uploaded in the public domain.

A sub Committee for Hostel Management may be formed from the members of the multi stakeholder Committee to address the hostel matters as and when permission is granted by the Government in due course for re-opening of Hostels.


E. Seating plan (Schools/Colleges/Coaching Institutions).


Physical distancing of at least 6 feet has to be strictly followed.

Physical and social distancing shall be maintained in the staff rooms, office area and other places of public interaction.

Wherever available, temporary spaces or outdoor spaces (in case of pleasant weather) may be utilized for conducting classes in view the safety and security of the children and physical distance protocols.

Seats maybe designated with adequate distance for teachers in the staff room and other available rooms/halls.

The number of seats in the reception area maybe limited with at least 6 feet distance between them.


F. Ensure physical/social distancing in the entry and exit points of the Schools/Colleges.


Earmarking different lanes for entry and exit of students/teachers/non-teaching staff.

Visit of outsiders should be strictly prohibited.

Opening of all the gates at the time of entry and exit in case of Schools/Colleges which have multiple gates shall be done to avoid overcrowding.

Displaying posters/signage/stickers at appropriate places reminding students about maintaining physical/social distancing must be ensured.

Display communication materials (info-graphics) etc. on COVID-19 prevention in different areas within the School/College premises and the community.

No outside vendors should be allowed to sell any eatables inside the School/College premises or at the entry/exit gate points.

Ensure Soap (Liquid) is available at each hand washing station, near every door of toilets, in the Mid-Day-Meal distribution areas/ school Canteens and school entrance points.

The Headmaster of the respective school will assign one teacher to stand at the entry point of the school during entry of the students and one teacher at the exit point during the exit of the students.


G. Parents/Guardians consent


Students will come to the school/College provided their parents have no objection and as such written undertaking/confirmation from the parents should be produced in the schools/Colleges.
Parents should ensure that their ward goes to school/College wearing a mask and sensitize them not to exchange mask with others.

Parents may take care not to send their ward to school if the child is not feeling well.

Students willing to study from home through online mode maybe allowed to do so.

Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.


H. School/College events, meetings, etc.


Schools/Colleges should not undertake school events/College where physical and social distancing is not possible.

Functions and celebration of festivals should be avoided in schools/Colleges.

School assembly maybe conducted by the students in the respective classrooms/outdoor spaces/other available spaces and halls under the guidance of the class teachers and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6ft. 


I. Formation of different Task teams.


The schools/Colleges will ensure formation of different Task teams such as Emergency care support/Response team/General support team for all stakeholders, hygiene inspection team, etc. 
The members of such teams may be identified from amongst the Teachers, Professors,
Associate Professors, students and other stakeholders who will work collaboratively to take strategic and immediate action.


J. Health check up


Regular health check up of students and teachers maybe organized.


K. Ensure safe commuting of students who avail school/college transport.


Sanitization of school/College transport should be done on regular basis at least twice a day- once before children board the transport and once after.

Driver and conductor should ensure physical distance at all times along with students.

If possible, thermal screening of students may be done by the bus conductor at the time of their boarding.

All commuters are to wear face cover/masks. School/College transport authority should not permit students without masks and as per as possible provide them with masks.

No curtains should be there in the windows of the school/College bus. Preferably all windows should be kept open.

For air conditioned buses, the guidelines issued by CPWD will be followed which include temperature setting at 24-30 degree Celsius, relative humidity at 40-70% with provision for intake of fresh air.

Students should be oriented not to touch surfaces unnecessarily.


L. Ensure safety norms in classrooms


Teacher must ensure that students sit at allocated seats maintaining physical distancing and wearing face covers/ masks. Teachers too wear face masks.

In case of practical works, it should be done in small groups maintaining physical distance.
Students should not share any material (textbooks, notebooks, pen, pencil, eraser, tiffin box, water bottle, etc.) with each other.

All the necessary learning material may be kept in the classroom.

No sharing of food among students should be allowed.

Overcrowding in washrooms should be discouraged.

For air conditioning within the school, CPWD norms shall be followed which prescribes temperature setting in the range of 24-30 degree Celsius, relative humidity in the range of 40-70% and provision for intake of fresh air and cross ventilation.


M. Protocol to be followed in case of detection of suspected case of COVID-19.


The sick student or the sick staff should be placed in a room or area where they are isolated from others.

The nearest medical centre should be contacted.

A risk assessment will be undertaken by the treating physician.

Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

The school authorities/College should coordinate with the nearest health centre/Joint
Director of Health Services, in case of emergency.

All protocols as advised by Health and Family Welfare Department/ NHM should be
followed.


N. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE FOR SERVING MID-DAY MEALS IN SCHOOL


These broad Guidelines have been framed to prepare for resuming the normal cooking and serving of midday meal in schools of Assam with focus on food safety, health and hygiene alongwith physical/social distancing. As for example for the first batch of students (08.00 AM to 12.00 Noon), the midday meal session will be from 11.30 AM to 12.00 Noon. For the second batch (12.30 PM to 03.30 PM), the midday meal session will be from 12.30 PM to 01.00 PM.


The specific Guidelines are as follows:


a) Entry of cook cum helpers (CCH) in schools.

It shall be the responsibility of District/Block Administration related to MDM to ensure that the CCH is not COVID positive.

All CCH to give self-declaration to the Headmaster of the respective schools with regard to the wellness of self and family members before starting their work in school.

Thermal scanning of the CCH must be carried out at the entry point of the school.

The CCH must sanitize/wash their hands for minimum 40 seconds upon entering the school.

Wearing face masks will be mandatory during cleaning, washing, cutting, cooking and serving of meals.

Handmade face covers should be washed daily.

Nail polish or artificial nails should not be worn because they can become foreign bodies and might compromise on food safety.

Spitting and nose blowing should be strictly prohibited within the premises by CCH or any other person during school hours.

The CCHs should wear head covers and gloves.

b) Safety norms in kitchen and storage space.

The kitchen cum store place of cooking must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before 24 hours of actual cooking after re-opening of schools. The Headmasters of the respective schools as well as the SMC are responsible for the purpose.

The floors of the kitchen and the cooking top should be cleaned every day before and after the food is cooked.

The drainage system should be efficient enough for disposal of refuse.

c) Cleaning of utensils for cooking and serving.

The utensils used for cooking and serving should be thoroughly washed, cleaned and dried after use.

Clean clothes should be used for wiping utensils, wiping hands and for cleaning surfaces.
Leftovers or crumbs from plates and utensils should be removed into dustbin and properly disposed.

Adequate waste disposal system should be arranged so that the risk of contaminating food or the potable water supply is eliminated.

d) Checking of old stock of food grains, oil and fat and condiments before use/washing and cutting of vegetables and cleaning of food grains and pulses.

Use of left out food grains, oil and fat and condiments should only be done after careful inspection of quality.

Vegetables, fruits and perishable food commodities should be thoroughly cleaned before use preferably with a combination of salt and haldi (turmeric).

e) During cooking and serving of mid-day meals.

Wherever possible, kitchen activities must be performed maintaining appropriate physical distance.

The cook cum helpers should use face covers, head covers during cooking and serving.

The serving and dining areas should be thoroughly sanitized before serving.

The CCH while distributing the food should wear hand gloves and maintain appropriate distance from the school children.

The school children should also wear masks while food is being served and at all times in the dining area except while eating/drinking.

Ensure that students wash their hands thoroughly before and after eating.


O. Re-opening of Hostels


Decisions regarding re-opening of hostels will be intimated by the Govt. in due course.

The school authority/College authority will sensitize the parents, staff, students and other stakeholders about personal hygiene, personal health and cleanliness. Parents must not send their wards to school/colleges if the child or any other family member living in the same household shows any symptoms of COVID-19. The same is applicable to Teachers/Professors and staff. 
Teachers, parents and other stakeholders are advised to download Aarogya Setu App.

Further, it would be the responsibility of the School authority/College authority to create “learner friendly and classroom environment” and sensitize all students about COVID-19 and related myths, social stigma and fear. Care should be taken to ensure health, social and emotional bonding despite having to maintain physical/social distancing. Some simple yogic exercises/free hand exercises may be practiced in classroom to make Students comfortable.

For students who prefer to attend classes online, the School authority/College authority should provide the details of the curriculum to be covered in the given time similar to the ones covered in the classroom teaching.


P. Reopening of Private Educational Institutions as well as Govt. and Private Training and
Coaching Institutes:


All Govt. and Private Educational Institutions as well as coaching and training institutes can function from 2/11/2020 subject to strict adherence of this SOP as well as Guidelines issues by state government from time to time.


Q. Community Mobilization


The School Management and Development Committee (SMDC)/ School Management Committee (SMC) Meeting, Parent Teacher Meeting are important part of our education system for the purposes to develop a conducive school environment, academic development. SMC/PT Meetings are also the best platform for community mobilization programme like promoting information sharing as well as to create awareness on COVID-19 pandemic among the teachers and parents/students Community.

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