Schools, colleges and other educational institutes across Manipur will be allowed to re-open from November 10, 2021, to conduct physical classes for classes IX and above.
An office memorandum of the Manipur Higher and Technical Education said that the state government has decided to allow re-opening of schools, colleges and other educational institutes with effect from November 10, 2021.
The decision was taken considering that the COVID-19 positive cases are considerably low for the past few months in the state and there has been relaxation of public activities granted in the state.
The re-opening of the schools, colleges and other educational institutes will be subjected to observance of COVID-19 SOP and guidelines issued by the state Health department in this regard.
Over and above the some Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are to be observed for safety of the students, teachers and all stakeholders, it said.
Among others, SOPs to be strictly followed included attendance of students must not be enforced and shall be purely based on parental consent.
Teaching hours will be limited to three to four hours for both online and physical classes and no cultural or sports events will be permitted.
However, schools, colleges and institutes specific arrangements with regard to the compliance of SOP has to be settled at the level of the head of each institute.
Wearing of face cover or masks by students, teachers, staff and all stakeholders will be mandatory along with regular hand washing with soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers and following the COVID safety guidelines issued by the state health department from time to time.
Vaccination of staff and students is encouraged, the office memorandum stated while adding that all the non-vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff including those who got only the first dose of vaccine should be COVID-19 RTPCR tested every 20 days and submit the report to the head of the institutions.
The office memorandum asked all district deputy commissioners to constitute a district level task force committee with the concerned deputy commissioner as chairman to monitor the resumption and safe operations of all educational institutions in the district.
The zonal educational education officer in the district, principal of colleges, head of institutes will be the member secretary and district medical officer and community leaders as members of the committee.
The task force committee will be responsible for assessment of COVID-19 situation, ensuring enforcement of the SOP and feasibility of reopening of the schools, colleges and institutes.
All institutions should have to provide isolation facilities and be up with the nearest health centre or joint director of health services, in case of emergency and related health checkup.
In order to maintain a proper social distance of six feet between two benches, all educational institutes should permit only a specific number of students in a class at any given time.
To ensure this, all educational institutes may conduct classes on rotational basis or staggered manner, wherever considered necessary.
It will be the responsibility of the authorities of all the institutions to ensure that the learning gap of the students is duly compensated as per guidelines issued by the government from time to time.
In the event of sickness of the students or a family member, the student is advised to stay home.
The office memorandum issued by the state commissioner of education also encouraged teachers, parents and other stakeholders to download Aarogya Setu App.
This is the second time in which the educational institutions are to re-open since they were closed down following the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the state in March 2020.
Before the second wave of the pandemic hit the state, the state government had reopened these institutions for conduct of physical classes in January this year.
However, all were to close down again after the second wave hit in the state around the last week of March.