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Union Health Ministry Issues Guidelines for Conducting Teaching Activities from Sept. 21

Union Health Ministry
On Sunday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Skill Training Institutes, Higher Education Institutes conducting courses in technical programs requiring lab work. 

The Union Health Minister, Ashwini K. Choubey took his Twitter handle to announce guidelines for the conduct of teaching activities in the classrooms from September 21, 2020. 

According to the said guidelines: 

  1. The seating arrangement should be done in an order to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks.
  2. The staggering of classroom activities shall be done in separate time slots as to allow adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.
  3. Academic scheduling has to be intermixed of regular classroom teaching as well as online assessment.
  4. It will be the duty of the Teaching faculty to ensure that they and students ear masks throughout teaching activities.
  5. Sharing of items like laptops, notebook, stationery amongst students should not be allowed
Earlier, the Health Ministry on reopening schools partially issued an SOP for the students of classes 9th to 12th for taking guidance from their teachers on a voluntary basis. 

The SOP notification follows the Unlock 4 guidelines from the Home Ministry which came into effect from September 1.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, through its guidelines, said that States and Union Territories may permit up to half of the teaching and non-teaching staff to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counseling and related work from September 21.

Further, the notification also added that students of classes 9th to 12th may be permitted to visit their schools which are outside the containment zones only and on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers, although, the same will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians.

The guidelines also mandate regular disinfection and cleaning (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas before the beginning of classes and at the end of the day.

However, it will be at the option of students whether to attend the classes remotely/virtually or physically only on a voluntary basis for guidance from their teachers which will be subject to written permission of parent or guardian.


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