Schools in Punjab outside containment zones will reopen from Monday for classes 9-12, the state government said on Thursday. School Education Minister of Punjab Vijay Inder Singla said that since the home department has issued guidelines for the reopening of schools in areas outside containment zones, the school education department has also issued Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs to ensure safety of the students.
He said that detailed guidelines on reopening of schools have also been sent to district education officers and school authorities for precise implementation while allowing students to attend physical classes.
Mr Singla said that after reopening schools, the safety of the students will be the utmost priority of their government and a special team of officers of education department will be formed to implement the SOPs in the schools.
He said that though the schools were being reopened, online and distance learning programmes shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and attendance of all students will not be mandatory.
“As the schools are already conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so. The students will be able to attend the physical classes only with the written consent of parents,” the minister said.
Mr Singla said that the parents should also ensure that their children going to school should wear a mask and made them aware not to exchange masks with others.
He added that the parents should also encourage their children to wear full-sleeved clothes to minimize the interaction with any public surface.
Schools and colleges have been shut since March, when the country went into a lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus.