NEW DELHI, Jan 17: Staggered and shorter class hours, frequent sanitization, and entry and exit through multiple gates are among various new ways adopted by schools in Delhi as they prepare to welcome students of classes 10 and 12 back on Monday, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of educational institutes in March last year.

The Delhi government has allowed all schools outside COVID-19 containment zones to reopen for classes 10 and 12 from January 18 in view of board exams. However, it made clear that physical attendance is not compulsory and students will attend schools only with consent of parents. The Directorate of Education (DoE) has instructed schools to follow all COVID-19 guidelines when classroom studies resume.

A representative at Greenwood Public School said, “We are calling students in slots – half of the students in a class will be in classroom while another half will be in laboratory to conduct practical lessons. We have sent out consent forms to all parents and the number of students willing to come to school is high.”

Alka Kapur, Principal of Modern School in Shalimar Bagh, said the safest way to commute to school would be in private vehicles of their parents and guardians.

Allowing 15 students at a time in a classroom, placing handwashing consoles and sanitiser dispensers in corridors, deploying volunteers to ensure social distancing and conduct temperature checks, and keeping medical facilities on standby for any eventuality are among various other initiatives planned by schools.

Schools are also working out plans to ensure students who choose not to come to campus, do not miss out on anything. – PTI