The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to announce the Unlock 5.0 guidelines on October 1. Here’s a look at what changes are expected for educational institutions in this phase of the unlock.
In Unlock 4.0 guidelines, the Centre had said states could take a call on whether to re-open schools on September 21 or not. For the states that chose to re-open schools after a gap of almost six months, it was done with certain restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But with attendance being voluntary the headcount has been low, as per a Times Now report.
For example, in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj district 80 percent of parents were unwilling to send their children to school. The UP Board had reached out to 3.42 lakh students not in containment zones urging them to attend, but only 20 percent or 72,000 parents agreed to meet teachers and permit their children’s attendance, the report said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In Karnataka, the state government backtracked on its decision to re-open schools in September after a negative reaction to the news from students and parents, and may now not re-open them in October either.
Sentiment against re-opening of schools remains negative, the report said, adding that while more states are likely to re-open schools, the guidelines would stay unchanged.
Meanwhile, all across India online lessons are likely to continue for students of Classes 1-8, and colleges are likely to remain shut, while the admission process for undergraduate courses begins in October.
Here are the guidelines as per Unlock 4.0:
> Only senior students allowed to come to school voluntarily if they need any assistance or guidance from their teachers.
> Schools which are in containment zones will remain firmly shut.
> Students would need written permission for parents to attend schools.
> It is advised that classes should be held in an open area.
> There will be no assembly or events.
> Cafeterias will remain closed.
> Schools will function at 50 percent capacity while online classes will continue.
> Mandatory thermal screening and hand sanitisation will be carried out at the entrance.
> Deep cleaning of all the classes will be carried out.
> Swimming pools within the school premises will remain closed.
> Only asymptomatic staff and students to be allowed.
> Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
> Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
> Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty.
> Use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.
> Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.
> Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
> Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
> Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here