The national capital is planning to reopen schools for younger students from Nursery to Class 8 from 1 November. The reopening of schools in a phased manner for remaining classes after Dussehra is being considered by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
In a recent meeting, the DDMA decided to reopen schools for junior standards keeping in mind the precautions that must be maintained.
The schools are open for classes 9 to 12 across Delhi since 1 September with DDMA allowing only 50 percent capacity.
Also, the schools are supposed to take care of the COVID-19 protocols that have been issued by the state government including the regular use of face masks, hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing all the time.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the schools have been liberal towards students for their attendance. However, no student has been forcibly asked to attend the classes physically as online education is still being carried out by the respective schools.
Apart from using masks and maintaining social distancing, other guidelines have also been included by the DDMA like 50 percent of students per classroom, staggered lunch breaks, sanitisation, mandatory thermal screening, avoiding routine guest visits, staggered entry, and keen notice on the seating arrangement in the classes. These rules and guidelines are expected to be followed for the junior classes as well.
Earlier, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Chief, Dr Balram Bhargava had said that schools from classes 1 to 5 must be opened first as younger children have “better ability to handle the virus than adults do”.
In the meeting, the DDMA also spoke about Ramleela, Dussehra, and Durga Puja festivals that will take place in the coming days. Officials have been directed to ensure strict enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours with proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) like social distancing and wearing masks at all places.