While the Tamil Nadu government has been trying to prevent a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and planning to reopen schools once normalcy returns, authorities have been asked to ensure that all the educational institutions in the state are fit for classes to resume.
A senior official from the School Education Department, seeking anonymity, said that cleaning and maintenance works have to be carried out in most of the government and government-aided schools since only a minimal staff was allowed into the school on a rotation basis.
Stating that at present there were about 46,000 government and government-aided schools across the state, the official said, "The classrooms and laboratories need to be cleaned, all the apparatus need to be checked and there needs to be an electrical maintenance check."
He also pointed out that other activities including cleaning the wells and overhead tanks — which provide drinking water to the schools — and removal of bushes and weeds that have grown inside the school premises due to recent showers. "The rains could have also damaged school walls, so maintenance works need to be carried out immediately," the official said.
He added that since it was difficult for the skeletal staff to carry out both administration and maintenance duties, school managements have been asked to seek help from NGOs and local municipal authorities to ensure that all facilities are ready to use once schools reopen. The government had planned to reopen schools for at least the senior students in July after seeing the COVID-19 situation, but due to the threat of a third wave, there has been no official announcement on it yet.