Bihar schools gearing up for partial reopening from September 21 – education

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After facing closure for five months in wake of Covid-19 pandemic, city-based schools are gearing up to reopen from September 21 following the state home branch’s order under Unlock 4.0.

Principal secretary education Sanjay Kumar elucidated that as per MHA guidelines, all schools, colleges and coaching institutes will remain closed till September 30.

Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi has permitted schools out of doors containment zones for calling students of Class 9 to 12 who voluntarily need to visit schools for seeking academic guidance with a written consent of their guardians from September 21.

The ministry of health and circle of relatives welfare on Tuesday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) including staggering of the classrooms, no sharing of objects, separate timing slots, physical distancing and sanitisation of premises for phased reopening of schools.

Meantime, several city schools and their management were engaged on Wednesday to chalk out plan for partial reopening—for the first time after pandemic—and executing precautionary measures.

CBSE’s city coordinator Rajiv Ranjan Sinha, who may be the principal of Stanley Baldwin Academy, said, “We have arranged for thermal screening of students at entrance gate. Teachers and other staff must undergo training to handle 6 feet distance all the way through interplay. Since students will visit school after a very long time, they may feel like hugging or coming near to their classmates out of excitement. Teachers have been asked to monitor students and prevent them from coming in physical contact or share objects, lunch etc.”

He said, “School campus, classroom, common touch surface will be thoroughly sanitised a day prior to reopening. Seating arrangements handle a proper hole will be made. Inventory of fresh masks will be kept in order that it may be given to students in case of tear or any damage to their mask.”

“Reopening of school used to be much needed to compensate academic loss. The students who are going to seem in board exams need proper guidance. Despite online classes, physical classroom teaching is required for better performance”, added Sinha.

In a similar way, Principal of St. Michael’s High School, Fr Armstrong Edison, said, “We can thoroughly sanitise the campus before calling students. Our school has been made exam centre for NEET, so staff training for handling crowd is going-on. This training will also help all the way through partial reopening.”

Approximately how many students will be allowed to visit school in a unmarried day, Edison said, “It’s uncertain to foretell how many students need to visit school. After consulting students, a roster will be prepared keeping SOPs in brain.”

Parents in the city evoked mixed response for sending their wards to school.

Rupali Singh, whose daughter studies in Class 9, said, “I am yet to gain confidence. What whether school fails to execute precautionary measures? Children steadily remove mask when they feel suffocated.”

Kamlesh Gupta, whose son studies in Class 10, said, “Online teaching isn’t suitable for each and every subject like mathematics. Combination of online class and offline doubt-clearance class would yield better results. Already six months of the present academic session has passed. In the absence of proper guidance, academic performance of students is likely to be impacted.”

All educational institutions in the state have been closed since mid-March because of nationwide lockdown.

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