Lunch breaks in Bengaluru schools to be divided to ensure social distancing

The education department is planning to divide the lunch break to ensure social distancing is not compromised during meals
Representative Image | Pic: Wikimedia
Representative Image | Pic: Wikimedia

With classes IX and XII set to reopen from Monday onwards in addition to classes X and XII which reopened on January 1, the education department is planning to divide the lunch break to ensure social distancing is not compromised during meals. The Commissioner of Public Instruction Anbu Kumar announced that lunch break would be divided into several parts for specific classes to ensure that all the students do not come together at the same time.

This is part of the measures that the department is planning to maintain physical distancing norms and a scientific manner to follow the existing standard operating procedures in the face of the pandemic, that too with a higher number of students returning to schools. The department has decided not to come up with a fresh set of SOPs, but to innovate with the existing ones released for the reopening of classes 10 and 12.

Anbu Kumar said schools have already been approached about their capacity to accommodate students, and private schools have agreed they have enough rooms to accommodate a higher number of students spread out over more number of classrooms to ensure lesser crowding.

The department is expecting a turnout of less than 60 per cent to start with for classes 9 and 11. Officials said this would not require infrastructure to be beefed up further as several schools have primary school classrooms which are at present not in use as the children are taking lessons in the online mode. Plans entail using these rooms to spread out the higher number of students returning to offline mode of classes. And in case, that too falls short, halls and other rooms can be put into use, a senior department official said.

With the vaccination drive on, the department is anticipating a higher number of students returning to the offline mode of education in the coming days. Except for stray incidents of students not wearing masks, the schools have been able to comply with the SOPs issued by the education department, said a top official from the department. In Bengaluru, as a precautionary measure, teachers of class IX and XI are already being tested for Covid-19 as the education department is set to reopen for regular classes. This too is in keeping with the set norms of ensuring that no infected person enters the school threatening to spread the infection. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told reporters here on Sunday that the increase in the number of students will not impact social distancing norms in BBMP schools.

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