The first batch starts at 8 AM and ends at 12 noon, and the next batch will start at 12.30 PM and continue till 3.30 PM Credit: Representational Image

Educational institutions in Assam reopened on Monday after more than seven months following stringent COVID-19 guidelines. According to the officials of the education department, only students from Classes 6th up to 12th will be allowed to attend schools, and a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been issued that will need to be followed.

To minimise the risk, schools will follow an odd-even system. Students in classes 6, 8 and 12 will attend school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while the other three days are reserved for classes 7, 9 and 11.

Students will have to come to school in two batches. The first batch starts at 8 AM and ends at noon, and the next batch will start at 12.30 PM and continue till 3.30 PM.

“The first batch of students would come at 8 AM and stay up to noon and the second batch of students would come at 12.30 PM and stay up to 3.30 PM,” the press note issued by the government read.

If there are less than 20 students in a class, a single batch will be allowed.

Students will have to wear masks, sanitise their hands and maintain a social distance of six feet (ft) both inside and outside classrooms. Teachers and other employees will also have to wear masks compulsorily.

Simultaneously, online classes will continue for students who don’t want to come to schools.

Schools will be sanitised every weekend, preferably on Sundays.

Students and teachers will also undergo thermal scanning daily.

Mid-day meals will be served in government-run schools from 11.30 AM to 12 noon and between 12.30 PM and 1 PM for the two separate batches, respectively.

Cooks and helpers will have to undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests before they are allowed to prepare mid-day meals for students.

The tests will be done every 15 days, or if any person shows Covid-19-related symptoms.

School buses will be allowed to fill only one-third of their total capacity of seats while transporting students to and from schools.

If a Covid-19 case is detected in a school, classes will resume after students, teachers, helpers etc undergo rapid antigen detection (RAD) tests.

In case of detection of multiple Covid-19 cases, schools will be closed for a week and classes to resume after a sanitisation drive of the campus.

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