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Tamil Nadu Govt Issues SOPs for School Re-opening from September 1

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for schools across the state to strictly adhere to when the classes commence from September 1 for ninth to twelfth standards. Permitting the re-opening of schools for 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th standards with effect from September 1 with 50 per cent students at a time by duly following the appropriate SOP, the government directed the school education department to take necessary preparatory action and prescribe appropriate SOP for conducting classes regularly.

Schools should function six days a week and classes and sections have to be split into batches of not more than 20 students per classroom, as per the SOP. If no additional rooms are available, then students shall be asked to come to school on a rotational basis on alternate days, it said. Online or distance learning will continue to be an alternate mode of teaching. Students may be permitted to attend online classes if they prefer and those willing to study from home with the consent of the parents may be allowed to do so. However, follow-up on the progress of learning outcomes of all such students shall be planned appropriately.

Teachers and students should compulsorily wear face masks both inside and outside the school premises and schools should mandatorily follow the SOP. All teachers and non-teaching staff must get themselves vaccinated. As per the health, hygiene and safety protocols, schools premises, furniture, handrails, doors and windows should be cleaned and disinfected properly prior to re-opening. Hand wash facilities with soap and running water should be made available and in addition, hand sanitizers should be provided in all classrooms, the SOP said.

Toilets and wash areas should be cleaned, disinfected properly and maintained with cleanliness. Alternate arrangements should be made by the management for contactless attendance for teachers or staff instead of biometric attendance, during the pandemic. Helpline numbers, including those of local health authorities and mobile teams to contact in case of emergency, should be displayed. School premises should be kept clean and tidy and social distancing norms should be strictly followed to avoid crowding at the entrance, exit and inside the school, it stated.

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