With Classes VIII and XI reopening, Odisha govt issues detailed advisory. Here are the new timings and rules 

It asked schools to consider conducting classes in the open air, if possible, and have adequate soap and running water in all bathrooms 
Here are the important points | (Pic: Edexlive)
Here are the important points | (Pic: Edexlive)

Odisha will open its school gates far and wide for Class XI students on October 21 and Class VIII students on October 25, much to the delight of students. But a detailed seven-page advisory from the School and Mass Education Department, Government of Odisha, ensures that the school management will remain on its toes so that COVID protocols are followed to the letter. 

Apart from the regular precautions for government, government-aided and private schools, here are the most important ones.

The new timings are 10 am to 1.30 pm for Class XI and 9 am to 12.30 pm for Class VIII. Both online and offline classes will continue and as with any other classes, students can attend offline classes only with the consultation of their parents or guardians. There will be no mid day meal in lieu of the fact that dry ration will be provided to students. While hostels too will be open for the same classes, students who wish to stay there will need parental consent mandatorily, stated the advisory. But first and foremost, without 100 per cent access to potable drinking water and adequate toilets, schools are not advised to reopen.

Before the schools are reopened, a meeting of School Management Committee/School Management and Development Committee (SMC/SMDC) members needs to be conducted along with any parents who wish to attend the meeting can be invited by the head of the school. The purpose of this meeting would be to discuss in detail the safety protocols and the meeting should be recorded officially.

There was also a note in the advisory on maintaining an isolation room that can be used by anyone who develops COVID symptoms. A paragraph was also dedicated to the social-emotional well-being of students and teachers were asked to keep a keen eye out and take any supportive action with parents if need be. It was also mentioned that Composite School Grant under Samagra Shiksha can be used to purchase cleaning and sanitisation material and if the school needs help, they can turn to local Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI).

Assemblies, sports and any other gatherings are, of course, a thing of the past now so is sharing food, bottles or stationery.

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