New Delhi: The Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC), with the backing of UNICEF, on Friday, announced a list of SOPs or standard operating procedure to resume schools while ensuring all safety protocols against the spread of coronavirus.Also Read - Kerala Imposes Triple Lockdown in 31 Municipalities in Kozhikode District For Next 1 Week | Details Here 

As a preventive measure, the Jharkhand education board has made regular hand wash, masks and social distancing mandatory for all students, teachers as well as mid-day meal cooks, aside from the non-teaching staff. Also Read - US Announces $25 Million Aid To Support India's COVID Vaccination Process

Reading out the SOP during a webinar titled as ‘COVID-19-Awareness and Preparedness in Schools’, officials said all assembly prayers, gatherings and sports activities will be postponed and sufficient distance will be maintained by keeping an appropriate gap between two students in a classroom. Also Read - Two-Third of Population Surveyed in 11 States Have Coronavirus Antibodies, Says ICMR Serosurvey

While the central government has ordered schools to remain closed till July 31, the SOPs will help in preparedness and proper implementation, communication and monitoring of safety norms as and when the schools reopen.

“Under Unlock-2.0, schools and colleges will be shut till July 31. However, the Centre gives relaxations at regular intervals. The Centre might allow some states, where Covid-19 cases are comparatively low, to open schools. So, we should be prepared in advance. These SOPs will help spread awareness among teachers, students and parents much before the opening of the schools,” said Secretary of Jharkhand school education and literacy department Rahul Sharma.

JEPC State Project Director Uma Shankar Singh noted, “While continuing to provide education, what matters is our ability to broaden our planning at a technical level to handle the pandemic when schools reopen. Therefore, all teachers have to compulsorily undergo Covid-19 training through e-learning module and be certified.”

Here’s the point-by-point SOP by Jharkhand Education Board:

1. All school buildings, classrooms, hand washing units and mid-day meal rooms to be disinfected daily with sodium hypochlorite.

2. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers to be provided at the entry point of all schools.

3. Social distancing to be ensured at classrooms and mid-day meal rooms.

4. Face masks mandatory for all teachers, students, non-teaching staff.

5. No assembly prayers, gatherings and sports activities until further notice.

6. Attendance and sick leave policy to be kept flexible depending on students’ health.