Unlock 4: Centre issues SOPs for skill training institutions, higher education institutions

The guidelines include seating arrangement to ensure a distance of six feet, staggered class timings, wearing of masks during activities etc.

The Union health ministry on Sunday night issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for skill training institutions and higher education institutions conducting technical programs requiring laboratory work.

These have been allowed to open by the Centre from September 21, as part of the fourth stage of the nationwide unlock.

Here are the guidelines to be followed:

• The seating arrangement should be such that it ensures a distance of six feet between desks, chairs.

• Classroom activities should be staggered, with separate time slots, to allow adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises.

• Academic scheduling should be have a mix of regular classroom teaching and online teaching/assessments.

• Teachers and students should wear masks throughout teaching activities.

• Sharing of items like laptops, stationary, notebooks etc. among students should not be allowed.

Metro services have already resumed operations as part of Unlock 4, while schools, too, will partially reopen from September 21, though only for classes 9-12 and only for guidance purposes.

As of September 13, India’s coronavirus tally stood at over 4.7 million, the second-highest after the United States and ahead of Brazil. India is also the only country to have recorded more than 80,00 and, later, 90,000 cases in a single day, since the outbreak of the pandemic, including 94,372 new infections between Saturday and Sunday.

The country started opening up from June 1, after strict nationwide lockdown in four phases from March 25 to May 31. Unlock 4 started on September 1 and will end on September 30.

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