After a gap of about 10 months, schools in Tamil Nadu will reopen for Classes 10 and 12 from Tuesday by strictly following the latest Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the government.
Preparations were in full swing in all the high and higher secondary schools, including self-financing institutions, across the State on Monday. Schools across the State have carried out disinfectant drives, stored vitamin and zinc tablets for the students.
A panel, comprising four IAS officers, will monitor the school activities besides instructing all the district education officials to inspect all the institutions to ensure all safety measures are being followed. S Kannappan, Director of School Education, said that hand sanitisers and thermal scanners will be available in all schools. "Vitamin and zinc tables are being supplied to the schools," he said adding that students will also be screened on regular basis.
“Maximum of just 25 students per class will be allowed”, he added.
RC Saraswathi, Head Mistress in Government Girl’s Higher Secondary School in Ashok Nagar said, "As most of the parents are willing to send their children, more than 90% attendance is expected.” A senior official from the School Education Department said that during the first two days of classes teachers would impart knowledge to the students about the safety that has to be adopted to safeguard from the coronavirus.
On the transportation issue, the official said that students, who were dependent on public transport to reach the schools, could use last year's free bus pass.
However, he said students will be encouraged to come to schools by bicycles or parents would be requested to drop and pick up their children from schools.
According to DC Elangovan, secretary, Federation of Associations of Private Schools, instructions were given to the management of the self-financing institutions that they should not force students to attend physical classes if they are not willing.
According to him, the online classes would continue until all the students are willing to attend the classes. Apart from the fresh SOPs issued by the Revenue and Disaster Management Department, the Directorate of Public Health said health inspectors and block health supervisors will be assigned to each school, including private institutions, to monitor the follow-up of SOPs.
The Health Department has also directed health inspectors to monitor private institutions. The screening of students and faculty has to be done in a week with the help of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram team.