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Classrooms at 50% capacity, staggered lunch time — how Delhi is reopening schools from 1 Sept

Guidelines released by DDMA Monday asks schools to sanitise premises, use all entry-exit points to avoid crowding, provide wash basins and vaccinate all staff on 'top priority'.

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New Delhi: With schools and colleges set to resume in the national capital, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Monday announced the standard operating procedure (SOP) that details the Covid guidelines to be followed by the institutions.

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia had announced Friday that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching centres will reopen in a phased manner from 1 September.

According to the SOP, only 50 per cent of the seating capacity in a classroom can be occupied by students to ensure social distancing.

The guidelines also state that lunch hours should be staggered and in open spaces to allow students to freely remove their masks while eating. They further suggested spacing out the schedule to avoid overcrowding the premises.

In institutions with a double shift system, the SOP advises scheduling a gap of one hour between the morning and evening shifts.

It has also asked institutions to sanitise their premises, provide wash basins and make provisions for an adequate number of thermal scanners.

Usage of all entry and exit gates has been recommended to avoid crowding while the entry of visitors has been barred in institutions unless allowed by the schools or institutes or in emergency situations.

Additionally, the DDMA has also asked schools, colleges and coaching institutes to vaccinate their teaching, non-teaching and support staff on “top priority”.

Also read: Central govt’s residential schools to reopen for classes 11 and 12 with 50% capacity

Consent form, vaccinated parents

The reopening guidelines also directs all heads of the institutions to hold a meeting with the management as well as the parent-teacher association to “finalize the readiness plan for reopening of schools”.

The SOP recommends holding regular meetings between school authorities and parents to encourage the latter to get vaccinated.

The DDMA has also issued a consent form which parents need to sign in order to send their children to school.

For schools conducting ration drives and vaccination drives, the areas where it is happening have to be cordoned off, the guidelines note.

Delhi metro, weddings and religious places

Aside from reopening of schools, the SOP issued by DDMA also laid out guidelines for the reopening of other amenities.

The Delhi Metro can now operate at 100 per cent capacity, however, standing passengers are still not allowed.

Meanwhile, a total of 100 guests have also been allowed in funerals and wedding processions, an increase from the earlier limit of 50.

Religious places, sports centers and complexes have also been permitted to open but no visitors are allowed yet.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: No shot for kids yet, so states aim to vaccinate teachers, staff to help reopen schools


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