The State government is expected to take a decision in the next few days and announce comprehensive guideline to reopen schools by, sources said.
The expert committee headed by Commissioner of School Education Sigy Thomas Vaidyan, comprising several IAS officers and academicians, submitted its report to the State government a couple of days ago, a senior official from the School Education Department told DT Next.
“The committee has recommended reducing curriculum between 30 per cent and 40 per cent for various classes,” the official said. “Those studying in Classes 10, 11 and 12, who will appear for board examinations, will have their syllabus truncated by about 40 per cent. The syllabus for other classes would get cut by approximately 30 per cent,” he added.
Another important recommendation by the panel was the cancellation of quarterly and half-yearly exams for this academic year. “However, for students of higher classes who have to attend board exams, it has been planned to conduct a couple of revision tests before the final exam – provided the schools reopen in October,” the official said.
The expert committee has also planned to extend the academic session till May by shortening summer holidays, he said. The exact date of reopening schools would be decided by the State government. The classes for senior students – from classes 9 to 12 – would start first, the official said.
The committee prepared its report after collecting feedback from all stakeholders, including teachers, academicians and parents. “The report will be thoroughly reviewed by not only the School Education Minister but the Chief Minister as well before a final decision is arrived at,” he said.
The official asserted that the State government would not take any haste decision with regard to school reopening to ensure the safety of students.
Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association president PK Ilamaran said that before the re-opening of the institutions, the government should ensure that all schools were properly sanitised. “In addition, facemasks should be given to the students regularly,” he said, adding that all schools should ensure that foot-operated hand sanitiser equipment was kept at the entrance.
In order to maintain social distancing, schools should adopt micro-teaching method (one teacher for maximum five students), he said. “However, before starting the session, students should be given counselling to allay their fears,” Ilamaran said.