Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will mark the long-awaited resumption of classroom learning in schools on November 1 by holding a 'Praveshanolsavam', a celebratory function typically held at the beginning of the academic year.
The function will be held at the Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Cottonhill, in Thiruvananthapuram adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
"It will be attended by the transport, health, and education ministers," General Education Minister V Sivankutty stated at a press conference.
The minister also assured that all safety precautions are in place for the scheduled reopening of schools. He urged school employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far to keep off the institutions.
"There are 2,282 teachers who are not vaccinated yet. It is either due to medical conditions or due to reasons regarding faith. I request those teachers to refrain from coming to school initially and concentrate on online classes," he said.
The state has been preparing for a month for the reopening of the schools which remained shut for nearly one-and-a-half years in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have done extensive work for it. Guest teachers have been appointed in schools facing staff shortage," Sivankutty informed.
The government has distributed 24,300 thermal scanners in schools across Kerala. No attendance will be taken for the first two weeks. In the initial days, stress will be given to cheer up the kids and to improve their confidence. There will be soap and water set up infront of each class, he explained.
Schools have been disinfected with the help of teachers, parents, NGOs, and the local people in the area. "There are a total of 15,452 schools in the state. Out of this, 104 schools are yet to be disinfected. School buses are not yet operational in 1,474 schools. But arrangements will be made in the next two days," the minister further said.
Sivankutty had earlier released a set of guidelines that schools have to adhere to prior to reopening. The guidelines are mainly related to the creation of bio-bubbles, scheduling of classes, and practical guidelines for teachers.