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Monday, September 20, 2021

Tamil Nadu: Before reopening schools, minister says it’s government’s duty to ensure safety of students

After a gap of close to one-and-a-half-year, schools will reopen in Tamil Nadu from September 1

By: Express News Service | Chennai |
August 31, 2021 2:52:03 pm
The minister further said schools have been informed to be equipped with additional masks.(Representational/File)

A day before schools reopen for Classes IX, X, XI and XII, Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Tuesday said parents need not fear for the safety of their wards while sending them to schools. After a gap of close to one-and-a-half-year, schools will reopen in Tamil Nadu from September 1.

The state government Monday instructed school authorities to ensure all Covid-19 safety guidelines are followed.

Addressing the media after inspecting the arrangements at a government school in Chennai, Mahesh said, “We haven’t mentioned anywhere in the SOP that students should compulsorily attend the physical classes. You send us your children, it’s our duty to ensure their safety,” he said.

He added, “All school headmasters and district officials have been instructed to ensure SOPs are followed on the school campuses. I request all MLAs to provide schools with any help like providing hand sanitizers or masks wherever required.”

The minister further said schools have been informed to be equipped with additional masks. “All benches have to be sanitized. Classrooms and restrooms need to have sanitizers. Only 20 students should be accommodated in a class that has a capacity to hold 40 of them. Since the classrooms of Classes I-VIII will be available, higher secondary class students can be accommodated in them. Only two students should be made to sit on a bench with a gap in between. This should be in practice across the state. Schools will function six days a week and there will be five periods each day. Starting from 9:30am, schools will function till 3:30pm. As informed earlier, there would be no period allotted for physical training (PT classes),” he said.

Mahesh said school managements in Chennai informed him that they will conduct a temperature check on each student, teacher and other staff and note down their details in a separate register before allowing them to enter the campus.

“Almost 95% of the teaching and non-teaching staff across the state have been vaccinated and we have requested the health department to provide priority vaccination for teachers and other staff,” Mahesh said.

Further, the minister said classes that are being conducted through the Kalvi channel will continue as usual to facilitate students who wish to attend virtual classes.

“For the first 40-45 days, as instructed by Chief Minister M K Stalin, we will concentrate on conducting refresher classes for students. We have informed the school authorities not to provide students with heavy homework right from day one. They need to psychologically get used to the set up, they need to feel happy that they are getting back to their schools. It will take some time as they were away from the school set-up for a long period. We have also shortened the syllabus but it will be covering all the core ideas that will help them when they move to higher classes. The syllabus will enable students to compete in any competitive examination,” Mahesg added.

The minister said after a week, his department will receive feedback from the stakeholders, following which, they will implement further measures that are required.

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