Schools are soon to commence in the state of Tamil Nadu. The state government has stated that students in class 10, 11 and 12 in government, government-aided and private schools can attend schools on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers from October 1, 2020. Schools will be allowed to call up to 50% of their teaching staff on any given day to interact with students, teach and provide counseling services. Only schools that are not in containment zones can operate in this manner. All the schools, teachers and students will have to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) laid down by the Union government.
The government has also made it clear that the judgment on whether to go to school or not is voluntary, and left to parents and students to decide. Online and virtual classes will proceed as usual for students in other classes. Many other states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, etc have commenced voluntary interactions in schools between teachers and students. The state of Karnataka had made an announcement that voluntary classes can start from September 15 but later said that it cannot happen till September 30. The state is yet to take a decision on this.
The SOPs laid down by the Union government include physical distancing of at least six feet to be followed as far as feasible. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves a strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest