The classes in the colleges of Meghalaya will begin from February 1, 2021 and the state government has issued a new advisory for the higher educational institutions in the state keeping in view of the Covid19 situation.
The Meghalaya government issued the advisory on Wednesday while observing the health protocols issued by the state government after consultation with the principals of various educational institutions in Meghalaya, additional chief secretary DP Wahlang said in a notification.
According to the notification, classes in the colleges will be held from February 1, 2021 onwards in blended mode (online/offline).
“This will include lesson transaction, assignments, online interaction, counselling, etc.”, the notification says.
Academic calendar for all classes will be as per the academic calendar to be prepared and circulated by NEHU, it said.
The following generic preventive measures will have to be followed in the colleges:
Parental consent for attending offline classes is mandatory.
Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.
The college administration shall consult with the stakeholders prior to reopening of classes i.e. parents, district health officials and local community.
“College authorities are empowered to take any decision pertaining to closure of offline classes in an event of any suspected Covid-19 cases in consultation with health officials,” the notification says.
The college authorities are empowered to design a daily plan and duration of classes conforming to Covid-19 protocols.
“A blended approach of 3 days classes (minimum) and 2 days for home assignment may also be considered to reduce the exposure,” it said.
Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will have to be followed as far as feasible.
Use of face covers/masks will have to be made mandatory.
Frequent handwashing with soap and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers will have to be maintained.
Respiratory etiquettes like covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief flexed elbow to be followed.
Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations, etc. shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution.
Colleges that were used as quarantine centres should be properly sanitized.
The colleges should display state helpline numbers and also numbers of local health authorities, etc. to teachers /students/employees to contact in case of any emergency.
Appropriate backup stock of personal protection items like face covers/masks, visors, hand sanitizers, etc. shall be made available by management to the teachers and students, the notification says.
“Ensure availability of sufficient covered dustbins and trash cans and provision for proper disposal of used personal protective items and general waste (available at hitttps://cpcb.nic/uploads/Projects/Bio-Medical-Waste/BMW-GUIDELINES COVID_ 1.pdf),” the notification says.
Housekeeping employees to be informed and trained about norms for waste management and disposal.
“Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene sanitizer dispenser, and thermal screening provisions. Multiple gates/separate gates, if feasible, should be used for entry and exit,” it adds.
Posters/standees on preventive meassures about Covid-19 to be displayed prominently.
Proper crowd management should be followed and entry of visitors should be strictly regulated/restricted.
Sharing of items like notebook, pens/pencil, eraser, water bottle, etc. amongst students should not be allowed.
Regular cleaning and disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces; provision of soap in toilets and hand sanitizers in other common areas in sufficient quantity must be ensured.
Teaching material, computers, laptop, and printers shall be disinfected with 70% alcohol wipes.
Students should not be involved in any of the cleaning activities for health safety reasons.
“If a student, teacher or employee is showing Covid-I9 symptoms, they should be advised to stay home and follow necessary protocols in this regard,” the notification says.
Hostel opening guidelines are being circulated separately, it says.
“This notification shall come into force with immediate effect till further order,” the government notification further says.