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Monday, September 27, 2021

Tamil Nadu: Students of Classes IX to XII, colleges return to classrooms amid strict Covid norms

Online or distant learning will continue to be an alternate mode of teaching and students will be permitted to attend online classes if they prefer to, with the consent of their parents.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
September 1, 2021 1:52:05 pm
Chennai School, Nungambakkam, Tamil Nadu SchoolStudents at Nungambakkam Girls Higher Secondary School in Chennai adhere to Covid-19 norms on Wednesday. (Express)

After remaining shut for more than one-and-a-half-year for Covid, physical classes started for students of Classes IX to XII Wednesday in Tamil Nadu. Colleges across the state were also reopened with all Covid protocols in place.

Students across schools and colleges were subjected to thermal scanning and provided hand sanitizers before they were allowed to enter the classes. School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Tuesday had said parents need not fear sending their children to school as it is the government’s responsibility to ensure their safety. He added, “Ninety-five percent of the teaching and non-teaching staff are vaccinated in the state.”

Anbil said the schools would begin at 9:30am and function till 3:30pm for six days a week. He added that for the first 40-45 days, the schools will provide refresher courses for students as they are attending physical classes after a long break.

“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,” Anbil had said Tuesday.

Speaking to the media, Wednesday, students said they are happy to get back to school. A student from a government school in Salem said she was not able to study online due to lack of access to mobile phones.

All schools have been instructed to strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the government. The SOPs mention the campuses should be sanitised, only 20 students should be seated in a classroom which has the capacity to hold 40 of them and all students, teachers and non-teaching staff need to wear masks.

Online or distant learning will continue to be an alternate mode of teaching and students will be permitted to attend online classes if they prefer to, with the consent of their parents.

Similarly, colleges in the state have been permitted to commence classes from Wednesday on a rotational basis. Students have to be vaccinated to enter the campus and those who arrive from Kerala have to produce vaccination certificates and an RT-PCR negative certificate taken 72 hours before their arrival.

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