Apart from strict physical distancing norms, schools are expected to ensure students and staff members wear masks at all times, use thermal scanners and ensure the campus is sanitised and disinfected every day
On Monday, schools across the State will reopen for students of classes 9 and 11. For students of classes 10 and 12 in Tamil Nadu, campuses threw open their gates in January, after nearly 10 months of closure due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
School Education Director S. Kannappan said that schools have been asked to continue implementing the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for COVID-19 safety protocols, issued ahead of the reopening in January. “Additionally we have told schools that do not have enough teachers or classrooms to accommodate their students in smaller batches to explore the option of having classes on alternate days or in a shift system. Schools are permitted to work six days a week,” he said.
Vitamin, zinc tablets
The School Education Department has procured additional vitamin and zinc tablets to be distributed to the students returning to campus as well. “For classes 10 and 12, most schools are seeing at least 80% attendance. Even schools that started off with attendance below 50% have seen students return in the last two weeks,” Mr. Kannappan added.
Apart from strict physical distancing norms, schools are expected to ensure students and staff members wear masks at all times, use thermal scanners and ensure the campus is sanitised and disinfected every day.
School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan has further said that attendance is not compulsory for the students. Schools will also be required to get consent forms from parents who are willing to send their children back to school.
“Since we have had experience on how to enforce the safety guidelines with students of classes 10 and 12, we are prepared to have all the senior classes back on campus. Parents too, are not too worried since schools are not going to be functioning at full strength, but for the senior classes alone,” said R. Visalakshi, president, Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association.
In a letter to all district collectors, Principal Secretary, School Education, Dheeraj Kumar has reiterated that as was being done for students of classes 10 and 12, health camps should be conducted in all schools after they reopen for students of classes 9 and 11 as well. Local medical staff in Primary Health Centres and hospitals nearby need to be kept alert and SoPs are to be strictly followed with regard to the noon meal scheme as well as arranging sufficient transport facilities for the students and following the guidelines there as well.
“Schools have been sending in daily attendance reports to the School Education Department as well, and will continue doing so. A majority of the students are eager to come back to school and we are expecting an attendance of over 90% from Monday,” said K. Vasudevan, chairman, Prince Matriculation Higher Secondary School.