Schools across Odisha reopened on Monday for the students of classes 10 and 12 with adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
The government has decided to continue online classes and it is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes.
Classes for the standard 10 and 12 students were suspended in the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to reopening of the schools, classrooms and other spaces have been sanitised while teaching and non-teaching staff have been administered with both doses of the vaccines, an official said.
Though the schools reopened, it is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes.
Attending schools will be the decision of the students and their guardians, the official said.
The government has decided to continue online classes for the students who don't attend physical classes for some reason or the other, he said.
Physical classes are held from 10 am to 1.30 pm, as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the School and Mass Education Department.
Each school now has an isolation room for students and staff who show any symptoms of COVID-19. Adequate soap and running water have been made available in all washrooms of the schools. Hand sanitiser has been mandatorily kept for teachers, students and staff in each classroom.
While wearing masks is a must for each student and staff, special seating arrangements have been made to maintain social distance in classrooms. The students will get a fixed seat in each class, according to the SOP.
As the schools reopened, all the teachers, students and staff who entered into campus underwent thermal screening. Students have been advised not to bring food with them.
Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash said a detailed SOP has also been issued for hostel operations and nodal officers have been sent to each district to ensure that the Covid-19 protocols are being followed.
All government and private schools except those located in containment zones and Kendrapara town reopened Monday. The schools remain closed in Kendrapara because of the imposition of prohibitory order till July 30 following the death of a gangster in police encounter late last week.
The state government is also planning to reopen schools for classes 9 and 11 from August 16 and September 15 respectively. The classes for class 11 students will be held from September 15 after completion of admission into Plus II courses, the minister said.
Dash said the decision to reopen schools is taken after significant improvement in the corona situation in the state.