Kerala government decides to open schools and colleges meeting Covid standards from October

Representation image | Photo credit: IANS

Highlights

  • A decision on shift schedules will be made by the principal of the institution in consultation with the college council
  • If necessary, classes will be held for PG students every day, as the strength of the batch is only about 20.
  • Schools in the state had remained closed since March of last year, with the exception of three months from January of this year for students in grades 10 and 12.

Thiruvananthapuram: Classrooms will be open after a long break for higher education courses which will be held on alternate days. Classes for final year graduates and postgraduate students will all start from October 4th. The decision to do so was taken during an online meeting that Minister of Higher Education R Bindu had with principals of around 400 vocational schools in the arts and sciences.

Although the lessons take place every other day, the teachers will be present every working day in the colleges.

The minister also added that a special Covid vaccination campaign will be carried out at the institution level so that students receive at least one dose of the vaccine before the college reopens.

Meanwhile, Education Minister V Shivankutty also said the government has already started preparations for the reopening of state schools. The government has also asked officials to take the necessary steps in this regard.

The school opening date will be decided after taking into account the reports from the health service and the guidelines of the committee of experts on Covid-19.

At the same time, Kerala has filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court requesting permission to hold offline exams. The state informed the Supreme Court of the unavailability of computer and internet facilities for many students, which has already sparked a crisis in parts of Wayanad, Idukki and Palakkad districts.

Health experts say precautions must be taken on various issues if schools are to reopen because the pandemic has not yet subsided. Meanwhile, experts said it was necessary to educate children before sending them to school.

“Children should be informed of the precautions to be taken when traveling by school bus or public transport. There should be more awareness in homes where elderly citizens with illnesses reside, ”said Dr Suresh Kumar, senior health expert based in Ernakulam.

The chief minister said the government does not insist on vaccinating students under the age of 18. However, all teachers, school staff, school bus drivers and family members of students must be vaccinated.

“As some children may have contracted Covid and recovered from it, a seroprevalence survey will be conducted on them to detect the presence of antibodies against Covid,” Pinarayi added.

Previously, the government announced the establishment of a committee of experts to examine the practical aspects of reopening schools.

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