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Govt issues SOPs for reopening schools

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The federal government has released standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent spread of infectious coronavirus disease among students following potential reopening of educational institutions across the country from September 15.

In view of the constant decline in the number of coronavirus infections in the country, the government had previously announced to reopen schools and other educational institutions from mid-September on. A definitive statement on the reopening of educational institutions will therefore be made on 7 September.

According to the new SOPs, no student assembly will be held in the morning at school, and the students will go straight to their classes. The guidance further advises that parents do not rely on public transportation to bring their children to school.

The SOPs also make it obligatory for students to wear masks, wash their hands and keep social distancing. It also calls on educational institutions to ensure that students are screened before they enter school, and not to encourage students suffering from flu, cough and cold.

Schools are required to divide each class into two parts and to teach each section in different 4-hour shifts daily. They will also observe the break or half-time in shifts.

The SOPs also advocate restricting use of canteens, and encourage parents to provide their children with home-made food. Also, schools and seminaries were required to make preparations to address any emergency.

Administration of educational institutions will implement the health SOPs in consultation with local administration. Authorities will be providing guidance for educational institution administrators. The SOPs also call for safety measures to be taken at hostels.

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