Allow schools from nursery to eighth grade to reopen on Monday, says Task Force – Times of India

Panaji: The state task force on Tuesday decided to approve the decision of the Covid expert committee and recommended that the government allow reopening of schools for students from nursery to eighth grade from November 22.

The task force has recommended some SOP guidelines that schools may follow, such as not holding morning rallies and taking a standstill to open and close schools. The task force said it was important to ensure that students were not overcrowded at any given time.

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Expert committee member Dr Shekhar Salkar, who attended the taskforce meeting on Tuesday, said the education department could issue SOPs for schools to follow up. The task force recommended that both parents press for vaccination before sending their child to school.

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“The task force has met today. The state covid expert committee recommended that schools should be allowed to start for the lower classes and the task force accepted this and decided that schools should start from 22 November. The director of education will discuss with all school management. How it is managed ultimately depends on the management of the school, “said Salker.

“We have said that schools can reopen and if anyone wants to reopen their KG department, nursery, kindergarten, they can,” he said.

Classes IX to XII are already underway, and eighth and lower graders have not been to school since the March 2020 lockdown.

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“We have said that if you want to send your child to school, you have to make sure that both parents are vaccinated. It’s important. It’s not just school principals and teachers who are vaccinated, but parents as well, because their children will mix with other children, “said Salker.

About 98% of school staff have been vaccinated and even if someone does not meet the criteria due to treatment, they will have to create a weekly Cowid negative certificate, he said.

“The only problem will be where there are cluster schools like Kujira. There will be problems if all schools start and end at the same time. This can increase the crowd. The director will talk to the schools and a shock time may be taken, ”said Salker.

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Salker said schools would be asked to tie up with local primary or community health centers for monitoring.

“Covid positivity in the state has now come down. We see the weekly positivity rate, which is below 1% over the last two weeks. Today, the positivity is 0.8%. If we look to increase positivity, we can always reduce, we will have some hints beforehand. Suppose there is a cluster with a large number of test positive, then we can come up with a solution, ”he said.

Children are less likely to be tested positive, and even if they do, the infection will be more like the flu, Salker said. There has been no increase in the number of children taking positive tests since the ninth to twelfth grade students started being called to school, he said. “It takes time for the virus to change. Now even if there is a third wave, it will be very gentle. Because about 98% of the population is infected with the virus without even realizing it, ”said Salker.

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