– Sukanya Nandy
The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier allowed schools in the state to reopen partially for students of class 9 to 12 from October 19, 2020. As per the guidelines, the students would be allowed to go to school following parental consent and classes would be held in shifts. All necessary protocols including social distancing and sanitisation of premises will have to be followed by schools.
Adhering to the government guidelines, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Vasundhara, Ghaziabad (estb. 2003) welcomed students back to the campus earlier this month after eight months of school closure. The school reopening was planned in two phases – classes 11 and 12 resumed in the first week of November while classes 9 and 10 reopened in the second week of November after the Diwali break.
Talking about the school reopening experience, Manju Rana, principal-director of the CBSE-affiliated Seth Anandram Jaipuria School Vasundhara, Ghaziabad says, “Safety of all the staff members has always been a priority. All the faculty members were tested for RT-PCR test with the help of the CMO. Orientation program for all the faculty members was conducted to apprise them with all the safety protocols to be followed in the institute.”
Rana adds, “A parent survey was conducted to know their views regarding reopening of school. Class teachers conducted an orientation program for the parent to apprise them about the preparedness of the school for reopening. After receiving the consent from parents, the students were allowed to attend the school physically.”
“The only challenge we faced was parents still being wary of sending their wards to school despite being satisfied with the school’s preparation, in view of the still rising Covid cases in this region,” says Rana.
Safety measures taken by the school:
Changes were made in the school premises and the buses to ensure that the safety guidelines are followed. This included:
- 40 percent student seating capacity allowed at each school bus. Masks made mandatory for all the students, support staff like driver and conductor.
- Teachers in charge ensured that students maintain distance of 6 feet while waiting for their turn to board the bus.
- Thermal checking, hand sanitisation of each student to be done while boarding the bus.
- Vehicle sanitisation to be done before and after every route. Each bus to have small hooks to hang the bags of the students. All the seat covers are washed regularly to maintain hygiene.
- Markings are created on the school campus floor to maintain six feet distance.
- Sanitisation machines installed at designated spots all across the school premises.
- Signages displayed at various places to remind everyone present in the campus about various norms to be followed during pandemic.
- Automated thermal screens placed at the gate help to monitor the temperature of all who enter the school premises.
Besides, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School also hosted its interschool fest – ‘Compufest’ during various events were planned and organised in such a way that students could work in small groups utilising various workstations available in school. All the workstations were sanitised after every event .
Continuation of online classes
Online classes continue to happen for students who are unable to attend physical classes. Being a Microsoft showcase school, technology has been an integral part of the school pedagogy. The availability of a large number of smart rooms in the school have helped plan and organise hybrid learning. All arrangements have been done for a live telecast of physical classes to all those who are not able to attend school physically.
Seth Anandram Jaipuria School organised various training sessions to equip teachers with technology. They were provided with various opportunities to explore and experiment with various online tools, which also enhanced student involvement in class discussions.
“The student attendance percentage has not been encouraging and has dropped substantially. Parents have their own inhibitions and have shown reluctance in sending their wards to school due to the pandemic,” says Rana.
Sports education amid the pandemic
Physical education teachers prepared various modules and conducted online sessions to teach various physical exercises which students can perform easily at the comfort of their home. A time table was created in such a manner that classes for subjects like art, music and dance could be conducted physically in small batches and at the same time all the SOP’s could be maintained.
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