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Delhi schools prepare to open the doors to classes 10, 12 students after pandemic-induced closure

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source: The economic times

NEW DELHI: Staggered and shorter class hours, frequent sanitisation, and entry and exit through multiple gates are among various new ways adopted by schools in Delhi as they prepare to welcome students of classes 10 and 12 back on Monday, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of educational institutes in March last year.

The Delhi government has allowed all schools outside COVID-19 containment zones to reopen for classes 10 and 12 from January 18 in view of board exams. However, it made clear that physical attendance is not compulsory and students will attend schools only with consent of parents.

The Directorate of Education (DoE) has instructed schools to follow all COVID-19 guidelines when classroom studies resume.

A representative at Greenwood Public School said, “We are calling students in slots — half of the students in a class will be in classroom while another half will be in laboratory to conduct practical lessons. We have sent out consent forms to all parents and the number of students willing to come to school is high.”

According to Alka Kapur, Principal of Modern School in Shalimar Bagh, the safest way for students to commute to school would be in private vehicles of their parents and guardians.

“There are a number of steps that the school authorities will take to ensure that the students stay safe from the infection,” she said.

Allowing 15 students at a time in a classroom, placing handwashing consoles and sanitiser dispensers in corridors, deploying volunteers to ensure social distancing and conduct temperature checks, and keeping medical facilities on standby for any eventuality are among various other initiatives planned by schools.

Schools are also working out plans to ensure students who choose not to come to campus, do not miss out on anything.

Priyanka Barara, Principal of MRG School in Rohini, said while the government has made optional for parents to send their wards to school, it is recommended that they come for better preparations for board exams.

Ashok Pandey, Director of Ahlcon International School, said not more than 10 students will be allowed in laboratories at a time.

The Union education ministry has already announced that board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be conducted from May 4 to June 10, even though the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to release an examination date-sheet.

Over three lakh students have registered from the Delhi region for the Class 10 CBSE board exam, while over 2.5 lakh candidates have enrolled themselves for the class 12 exam.

Schools were closed in March last year before a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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