How a Delhi School is Preparing to Reopen Partially Amid COVID-19

Despite the school putting all measures in place, parents are extremely reluctant to send kids to school. 

2 min read

Camera: Athar Rather
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

From an all-in-one thermal scanner and hand-sanitizing machine to hands-free wash basins, Modern Public School in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh is preparing to reopen for students in a staggered manner likely after 5 October.

With schools across India getting a nod to partially reopen for Classes 9-12 from 21 September, many states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have chosen to keep all schools closed until the spike in coronavirus cases subside.

In this video, The Quint speaks to Alka Kapur, the school’s principal to gauge all the safety and social distancing measures that a student would have to follow, as and when the institution reopens.

How will a student enter the school?

Students will have to maintain six-feet distance even outside school gates and will have to enter in a staggered manner. At the gate, they will have to get the QR code on their ID cards scanned through an all-in-one machine that can check temperature, check mask position and sanitise hands.

Students can also use touch-free hand sanitisers installed at the gates, following which their shoes will be sanitised.

How will social distancing be maintained inside school premises?

After the mandatory scanning and sanitisation, students will follow social distancing stickers and walk towards the classroom. Queue managers have been installed to ensure that six-feet distance is maintained between children. They will have to use a separate stairwell for reaching the first floor.

How will teaching progress in classrooms?

Only 10-12 students can be present inside a classroom at any given time and will have to sit on every alternate desk, in order to ensure that social distancing is maintained. For this, benches will be marked so that students do not sit on them. Moreover, the first student to arrive in the class will occupy the last bench so that there’s little contact with others.

Teachers will remain on their seats and clarify doubts and explain subjects through digital screens. They will not come in physical contact with students.

What if a child develops symptoms?

In case a student develops symptoms, she would be rushed to one of the two isolation rooms set up on the ground floor. The room would have a nurse, who would exit before the student enters and would monitor him from outside. Oxygen levels of the student would be checked and she would be given oxygen, if needed. The isolated students parents would be informed to take her back.

How would students exit?

Students would exit in a staggered manner while maintaining social distancing. The school has also installed hands-free wash basins where students can maintain hand hygiene without the fear of touching any object.

Students would also be encouraged to keep tissue papers handy in case they have to touch any undesired object.

Are parents willing to send their children to school?

Schools can maintain social distancing to a large extent inside premises, but cannot control the situation outside, like the safety-level of transport being availed of by the student. Most parents are reluctant to send kids to school as the number of coronavirus cases have risen exponentially in the last few weeks.

Moreover, not all schools can afford to put such elaborate safety measures and SOPs in place.

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