Thiruvananthapuram: Schools will remain closed at least till end of October, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Monday.
"The cases are expected to go up as lockdown relaxations are in place. Even though public transport is not fully operational at present, the cases are likely to go up once normal activities are resumed," the chief minister told the mediapersons.
"In the given situation, it's not possible to open educational institutions (schools) either in September or October. This is also the thinking of the Centre," he said.
Earlier this month, the central government had issued a set of guidelines for the reopening of schools across the country from September 21.
According to the guidelines, only students of class 9-12 are permitted to attend classes in person. The ministry had also made it clear that to attend school now is voluntary. Even then, written consent from the student's parents/guardian is mandatory.
In August, Kerala Government had asked the Director General of Education (DGE) to submit a report on school reopening in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DGE was asked to submit proposals on ways to complete the academic year if schools could open in September, October, or November.
The DGE was asked to examine the possibility of extending the academic year from March till May and the scope and practical issues, if any, in rescheduling the examinations.
Earlier, government had mulled the reopening of schools in September. This was dropped following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.
A final decision will be taken after the DGE's report. A decision on reviewing and compressing the syllabus would be taken after due deliberations.
Auditoriums to open
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to allow auditoriums to function with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Detailed guidelines on this regard will be published soon.
The government has also decided to withdraw the special holiday permitted to government offices in view of coronavirus pandemic.