Hyderabad: The School Education department on Tuesday instructed private schools not to remove any child, who lost their parent or parents to Covid-19 from the school on account of non-payment of tuition fees or lack of uniform or learning material.
Citing GO Rt.No.75, the department also directed private school managements not to increase any kind of fee during the academic year 2021-22 and asked them to charge only tuition fees on a monthly basis till further orders.
As directed by the High Court, the department on Tuesday issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reopening of all schools, both public and private, for regular classes in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the SOP, students willing to study from home should be allowed to do so and school managements should not compel any student to physically attend offline classes, if the parent was not inclined to send the child. Managements were also directed not to impose penalty if a child did not attend school or offline classes.
Wearing masks, sanitizing and washing hands regularly and maintaining physical distancing by all students and staff has made mandatory. Given the pandemic situation, the schools were strictly instructed not to permit assembly, group works and games until further orders. Sharing of items like pens/pencils, erasers, books, food, water bottle, glasses, and plates among the students also have been prohibited.
If a child is found to have Covid like symptoms, schools were instructed to take the child to the nearest primary health centre or any nearby reliable medical facility for a Covid test. “In case any child or staff member is found to be Covid positive, his/her immediate contacts of students and staff shall be tested by both RTPCR and RAT tests,” reads the SOP.
Headmasters were asked to focus on preparing students for classroom interaction, especially slow learners, by designing a bridge course for them. Schools were also asked to train students as Covid safety ambassadors to spread awareness among parents and families on Covid appropriate behavior. One period in a day could be devoted to this exercise.
While serving mid-day meals to students, schools have been instructed to follow staggered timings to avoid crowding besides ensuring physical distance. Depending on the strength of classes, the managements were also told to follow staggered timings for entry and exit of students.
In the case of transportation via school buses, the department wanted managements to sensitize bus drivers on ensuring that the children follow physical distancing during the journey.
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