Higher educational institutions, skill training centres to resume classes from Sept 21
   Date :10-Sep-2020

Higher educational instit
HIGHER educational institutions as well as skill training centres can resume their classes from September 21, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday, while asking them to implement staggered classroom activities with separate time slots, mandatory six feet distance between desks and carry out disinfection of premises, among other COVID-19 safety measures.
The guidelines, issued by the Ministry, said that seating arrangement should be done in a way to ensure a distance of six feet between chairs and desks. “Staggering of classroom activities to be done, with separate timing slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises. Academic scheduling should have an intermix of regular classroom teaching and online teaching and assessments,” the Ministry said. In shared rooms and dormitories, the guidelines said, beds should be placed at a distance of six feet from each other. “Temporary partitions may be considered, if feasible.
Any symptomatic student should be immediately given a single room and then provided requisite medical care,” the guidelines said. “Mess facility, if any within the premises, shall follow physical distancing norms at all times. Staggering of meal timings may be done to prevent overcrowding. Hostels should be out of bound for all persons except essential staff with known health status,” the Ministry said. The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all faculty, employees, students and visitors at these places at all times. These measures include physical distancing of at least six feet, use of face covers or masks, frequent hand washing with soap and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, they said.
“Institutions conducting skill training, higher educational institutions conducting doctoral courses and PG studies shall specifically ensure online and distance learning continue to be permitted and encouraged, skill training will be permitted with effect from September 21, and higher educational institutions conducting Ph.D or technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory will be permitted in consultation with MHA strictly following guidelines,” the Ministry said in its guidelines.