The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday said schools for students of classes 9 to 12 will reopen from October 19, after remaining shut for over six months in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Classes will be held in shifts and all necessary protocols including social distancing and proper sanitisation of premises will have to be followed by schools, it said.
Students will only be allowed to attend classes after furnishing written permission from their parents or guardians, the government said.
After proper consideration by the government, it was decided that classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 of all boards outside containment zones will be resumed, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said in a statement.
Classes 9 to 12 will resume with the physical presence of students from October 19, he said.
Sharma said schools will run in shifts and proper attention will be paid to the health of students. In the first shift, classes for 9 and 10 standards will be held. Classes for 11 and 12 standards will be held in the second shift.
He said 50 per cent of the students should be called in every class on one day and the remaining 50 per cent the next day.
Arrangement should be made to see that the students sit at a distance of 6 feet from each other, he added.
Sharma said the students would be allowed to attend classes only after they furnish written permission from their parents or guardians as their health and future are important.
Additional chief secretary, Secondary Education, Aradhana Shukla, has issued an order in this connection and a standard operating procedure (SOP) on health, sanitation and necessary protocols has already been issued for the reopening of schools, the statement said.
The order is available on the website of the department, it said.
Before reopening, schools will have to undertake proper sanitisation and this exercise is mandatory before every shift on a regular basis, the deputy chief minister said.
Sanitiser, hand wash, thermal scanning and arrangement for primary treatment should be available in all schools, he said.
In case of symptoms of cold or fever in any student, teacher or other employees, they will be sent home after primary treatment, the statement said.
School buses used by the students should be properly sanitised every day and proper distance should be maintained in seating arrangements, it said.
All teachers, students and workers should compulsorily use masks and the school management should keep reserve masks, it added.
Directives have also been issued to continue online teaching and encouraging it. Priority should be given to calling those students to school who do not have access to online teaching, Sharma said.
No student should be forced to come to school, he said.
Uttar Pradesh has reported 4,33,712 COVID-19 cases so far. A total of 6,353 people have succumbed to the disease in the state, according to officials.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 40,210, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said earlier in the day.
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