Thiruvananthapuram: Despite concerns about increasing COVID-19 cases, the Kerala government is mulling to reopen schools as it has decided to set up an expert panel to study the present circumstances in the state and submit a report in this regard.
General Education Minister V Sivankutty said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the high-level committee monitoring the COVID situation and guiding actions to deal with the disease in the state would take a final decision on the school reopening.
"The Education Department is contemplating to set up a suitable expert panel to submit a report to know whether the circumstances in the state are all right to reopen the schools," he told reporters here.
Besides this, the Department would prepare a project report detailing which classes can be reopened in the initial phase, what facilities can be ensured for the safety of children in the coronavirus situation and so on.
Both the reports would be submitted to the Chief Minister and the high-level COVID committee, who would take a final decision on the reopening of schools, he added.
Classes for school students have been conducted in the online mode in the southern state for the last two academic years after the pandemic outbreak.
Rest of India
Nearly half a dozen states have reopened schools on September 1 in light of COVID-19 cases showing a downward trend.
Students in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Assam and Madhya Pradesh are likely to return to schools in the coming weeks.
The onsite classes would begin with 50 per cent of students in attendance.
The state governments have ensured that the teachers and the school employees are fully vaccinated.
Classes are already in full swing in states like Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
How early school openers fare
In some states, including Uttar Pradesh, classes are now being conducted in two shifts, in the morning and the afternoon sessions.
Meanwhile, states like Rajasthan have decided to hold classes six days per week, with 50 per cent of students in attendance in each class.
Online sessions too would continue in these states.
In Delhi, classes resumed for students of standards 9 to 12.
Colleges and other higher educational institutions too reopened on September 1.
Meanwhile, onsite classes for standards 6 to 8 will begin from September 8.
Even though the government has given permission to reopen, many universities including Delhi University hasn’t taken a decision yet.
In Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu too, schools reopened on September 1 for classes 9 to 12.
Except for the first years, academics would resume for the rest of the students in colleges as well.
Students from Kerala must produce a negative RTPCR certificate taken within three days prior to the visit and a vaccination certificate for their classes.
In Karnataka, classes would begin for standards 6 to 8 on September 6 in those districts where the test positivity rate (TPR) is below 2.
Here, onsite classes for standards 9 to 12 began from August 23 onwards.
Students have been returning to colleges too to attend offline classes.
All students except those pursuing nursing, engineering, medical and paramedical courses should undergo a mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine and an RTPCR test after this period.
Schools have reopened in the rural areas of Maharashtra where the number of daily cases has been low.
(With inputs from PTI)