The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has decided to allow all schools inside the metropolis to conduct in-person classes conditionally from September 26.

A meeting led by KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya, who is also chairperson of the Municipal Education Committee, decided that schools will have to comply with the 27-point minimum guidelines issued by KMC to be eligible to resume in-person teaching-learning activities.

“The health and future of children is a matter of great concern for all considering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone should act responsibly instead of standing for or against our decision. It will be mandatory for all schools to ensure that they fully adhere to the prescribed guidelines before resuming in-person classes,” Shakya said.

He informed that the metropolis will carry out monitoring on a regular basis to ascertain if schools have complied with the guidelines.

As per the guidelines, schools will be allowed to run in-person classes only after they hold a meeting with the guardians and stakeholders of the ward concerned for forging a consensus on normalization of teaching and learning activities.

Similarly, school are required to prepare a detailed action plan on school operation and submit it to the Department of Education. “Teachers, employees, drivers, helpers, canteen operators and other office-bearers of the schools should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Persons, who have yet to be inoculated, can contact the Department of Health at KMC to receive the vaccine,” say the guidelines.

The schools may conduct classes in one or two shifts, depending on the number of students, physical infrastructure and available human resources.

Other key aspects of the guideline include mandatory provision of sanitizer or hand washing facilities at the school gate and outside the classrooms, thermal gun to measure body temperature at the school gate, physical distancing in and outside the classrooms, use of facemask, arrangement of homemade lunch by students themselves, disinfection of classrooms on a daily basis, shunning morning assemblies and other group activities for students and establishing a school health desk, among others.