DMK president M.K. Stalin on Tuesday said it was highly condemnable that the AIADMK government had decided to open schools and colleges at a time when a second wave of COVID-19 infections had been predicted by bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO).
“I want to remind Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami that the safety of students is very important. Instead of taking decisions in a hurry, he should hold a meeting with parent-teacher associations and medical professionals. Till such time, he should put a hold on the announcement to open educational institutions on November 16,” he said in a statement. He said parents and teachers were worried ever since the government made the announcement.
Recalling that a study done by WHO in the U.K., Israel, South Korea and Vietnam had concluded that higher and higher-secondary schools reported more cases, Mr. Stalin said it was a big question how educational institutions would be in a position to ensure handwashing and adherence to physical distancing norms.
“We are seeing that safety measures are being thrown to the wind in areas where lockdown regulations have been relaxed. If the government is not able to ensure the safety of students, there is a danger of parents, teachers and students contracting the infection,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said when it came to opening educational institutions, the administration had always been confused. “IAS officers and doctors have also said that at a time when the northeast monsoon is expected, a change in climatic conditions too will add to seasonal diseases,” he said.
He said teachers and parents wanted schools and colleges to open only by the end of January, after Pongal.
Mr. Stalin, in a separate statement, described as “anti-human and a violation of power” what he called the endless delay on the part of Governor Banwarilal Purohit in taking a decision on the Assembly resolution recommending the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
He recalled the unhappiness expressed by the Supreme Court judges on the petition filed by one of the convicts, Perarivalan, who has been in prison for over 29 years now.
“At least now the Governor should make a decision and the State government should prevail upon him without remaining a spectator,” he said.