As Kerala witnessed a steep surge in Covid cases, State Education Minister V Sivankutty on Saturday said that the suspension of offline classes up to Class 9 students from January 21.
The decision has been taken after chairing a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday.
The classes will remain suspended for a period of two weeks. Briefing media persons here today, Sivankutty said, "Now physical classes up to 9th standard will be conducted through digital mode. About 35 lakh students are studying in classes 1 to 9. No severe case of Covid among schoolchildren has come yet. But we have to take precautions as cases are rapidly rising.".
The minister also said that new guidelines will be issued for students of classes 9 to 12. "A meeting of higher officials in Education department will be conducted on Monday to issue revised guidelines for classes 9 to 12. Informing about the completion of the syllabus, he said that the syllabus of SSLC will be completed by the first week of February and the syllabus of higher secondary classes will be completed by the last week of February.
"There are opinions from experts that no need to suspend offline classes in schools, however, the government do not want to experiment with children," he added. Further, the minister informed that the Covid situation will be reviewed after two weeks and schools will be reopened if the situation remains favourable.
Meanwhile, Kerala reported 16,338 new Covid cases during the last 24 hours, said the state health department on Friday. Covid spread is maximum in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts, it said.