Two days after announcing the reopening of schools for classes nine to 12 in the state, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to consult schools and parents before going ahead with the decision. While it was initially stated that schools can reopen from November 16, the state government on Wednesday said that a consultation will be held with school managements and parents on November 9, before a final call is taken on the matter.
On Wednesday, following hesitation expressed by parents and questions from the Opposition in the state, the AIADMK government held a high level meeting where Minister for School Education KA Sengottaiyan and Minister for Higher Education KP Anbazhagan participated.
Shortly after the meeting was held, the government released a statement saying that the reopening of schools continues to remain under consideration. They stated that while the need to complete the academic syllabus was being considered, the views of parents and schools regarding the reopening will also have to be noted. Further, they said that measures to ensure a safe environment and prevent spread of COVID-19 will have to be discussed.
Amongst the guidelines given to schools are compulsory mask wearing and a thermal scan on a daily basis. Physical distancing has to be maintained at all times during class hours and classrooms have to be disinfected before students enter.
The Union government had permitted the reopening of schools in phases after October 15 when the last set of guidelines was issued. Schools across India have been closed since mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
Schools meanwhile began online classes this academic year in order to start covering the syllabus. However, several complaints have risen regarding difficulty in comprehension amongst students, especially in rural areas.