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What do the ICMR guidelines mean for students’ return to school after months of digital classes?

With the dawn of the end of the pandemic upon us, schools can slowly say goodbye to full-time digital classes. Though each State government has its own set of rules and regulations, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi has released a set of guidelines that schools need to follow as they transition back from digital classes to in-classroom learning.

The guidelines recommended by the ICMR are as follows:

  • All teachers and staff working at the schools must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Schools must operate at 50% capacity and students must be seated at a distance of 1 metre from each other.
  • Schools should be allowed to alter their timings and operate lesser hours as well, where needed
  • All students, teachers, and staff must wear face masks at all times without fail.
  • Thermal scanning should be done on all students, teachers, and staff before they enter the school.
  • Sanitiser stations must be provided and frequent sanitisation of hands must be made mandatory.
  • Students who lost family members, friends, relatives and acquaintances to the pandemic will require counselling and immense support and understanding from the teachers and school to help them cope with ordinary school life.

Even with all these precautions, the ICMR has urged state governments to not make attendance mandatory and still provide students with the option of taking up digital classes. The guidelines proposed by the ICMR come with the disclaimer that even though all teachers and staff must be vaccinated, there is still a risk of spread of infection where asymptomatic students may become innocent carriers of the deadly infection.

A new beginning?

Many schools have started functioning under these guidelines and students have eagerly returned to their classrooms. However, things have not really been quite the same. It has not been an easy task for students to transition from captivating digital classes to a new type of physical classrooms, where one has to constantly wear a mask and not really spend time with friends in close proximity and camaraderie. 

Perks of digital classes

Digital classes came with their own set of perks. Many schools offered pre-recorded classes and recordings of live clases so that students can access them anytime. Digital classes are mostly powered by technology-enabled classrooms making use of state-of-the-art teaching techniques that expose students to a whole lot more than just textbooks. The materials and content used for digital classes are available for the students to access anytime so that learning happens anywhere. 

Parents’ dilemma

With the availability of smart gadgets at pocket-friendly prices, digital classes are not only convenient but in a lot of cases seem cost-effective as well. The pandemic truly revolutionised the way digital classes were regarded by the Indian masses who were initially reluctant to consider them as a full-time workable option for children’s education. Now with vaccinations being rolled out across the country, many parents are in a quandary as to whether they allow their children to return to in-classroom learning or just continue with digital classes.

In order for students to not lose out on the perks of digital classes, parents can opt to enrol their children in one of 2,000+ LEAD-powered partner schools. LEAD brings world-class education and the right balance of the advantages of both digital and in-person classrooms, thus giving students a taste of both worlds. LEAD’s own curriculum is crafted in a way to get students prepared for their future in the most economic way possible. 

LEAD is helping children become future-ready. To enrol your child in a LEAD Powered School: Fill the admission form now

About the author

Manasa is a Branding and Communication Manager at LEAD. She is an Asian College of Journalism alumnus and a former Teach for India Fellow. Manasa has also completed her MBA in marketing from Deakin University. She strongly believes that education has the power to shake the world and is excited to be a part of LEAD’s transformational journey.

Manasa Ramakrishnan

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