School reopening: Guidelines to be ready by next week

Photo of a science lab at a school/Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: With little over a month to go before schools across Kerala reopen after a long shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities are busy firming up a comprehensive plan so that safety measures are in place considering the health risk.

The safety guidelines to be implemented would be ready by next week. As announced earlier the Kerala Government has set November 1 as the date for the reopening.

The education department has initiated discussions with other departments, as well as with experts in the health and education sector.

General Education Minister V Sivankutty and Transport Minister Antony Raju will hold talks on Tuesday about arranging transportation facilities for students.

Minister Antony Raju said that issues, including giving concession cards, will be discussed.

Education Principal Secretary A P M Mohammed Hanish, Health Principal Secretary Dr Rajan Khobragade, and General Education Director K Jeevan Babu are heading the preparation of school reopening guidelines. Discussions are being held with senior officials in the health and local departments, experts and agencies.

As per the proposals, both offline and online classes are being mulled for separate batches of a particular standard. Holding classes at schools for the first batch on the first three days of the week, followed by classes for the next batch on the next three days too are considered. Teachers will have to take classes for six days if this scheme is implemented.

The batch-wise offline classes are being considered until noon every day from November 1. The students can thereafter attend online sessions in the afternoon.

The classes for students of Standard 1 to Standard 7, Standard 10 and Standard 12 are being planned to resume first.

All these suggestions came up at a joint meeting of the officials of the General Education Department and the Health Department held here last week.

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