TN schools begin consultation meetings to discuss feasibility of reopening after Pongal

The School Education Department has asked for schools to submit feedback by January 8

Schools across the State began to hold consultation meetings on Wednesday with parents and members of Parent-Teacher Associations to discuss the feasibility of reopening for students of classes 10 and 12 after the Pongal holidays.

The School Education Department has asked for schools to submit feedback by January 8 and laid down guidelines for conducting these consultation meetings. The Department has already released a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) covering safety protocols to be followed on campus and in hostels for the students if schools are to reopen for senior classes.

“We have been calling parents in batches of 10 and will be speaking to them through Wednesday and Thursday. A clearer picture of what the parents are in favour of, will emerge tomorrow,” said R.C. Saraswathi, Headmistress, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Ashok Nagar.

With students of classes 10 and 12 scheduled to take up their board examinations this year, several private schools and teachers’ associations have been stressing the need to meet the students for at least a month or two this year to help them prepare.

The draft SoP released specifies students will be allowed in batches of not more than 25 and that physical distancing norms will have to be strictly maintained. “For students availing of hostel facilities in residential schools like ours, we are speaking to the parents about the safety measures that will be put in place in their dormitories, dining halls as well as hygiene with regard to laundry, sanitizing the campus regularly and other such aspects,” said C. Satish, Director, Paavai Group of Institutions.

Schools hosting the consultation meetings have been asked to brief the parents in detail about the SoPs and ensure that they are aware of the steps to be taken before they arrive at a decision.

Similar consultation meetings were held in November to discuss the possibility of reopening schools for classes 9 to 12 but a decision had then been taken to not reopen schools taking the COVID-19 situation into consideration.

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