The decision on reopening schools will be made after consulting parents and educationists from January 4 to 8, said School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan on Monday. The government has also devised a draft standard operating procedure (SOP) that schools have to follow when permission to reopen is granted. Minister addressed media after inaugurating the distribution of Pongal gift hamper scheme in Gobichettipalayam in Erode. He said, “The Chief Minister will take a final call after holding discussions with the School Education and Health departments".
The Minister informed that Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) were asked to hold meetings regarding school reopening by this weekend. Earlier the state government had announced reopening schools on November 16, but cancelled it after parents and political parties opposed it fearing the spread of the pandemic. Minister added, “Practical examinations for classes 10 to 12 will be conducted and its schedule will be released soon. Online classes will not be conducted for students during Pongal holidays".
On the other side, the State government brought out a draft SOP if the government announces the reopening of schools based on the feedback. Besides maintaining social distancing inside classrooms, students, teachers and other staff should wear face masks compulsorily inside and outside the school premises. According to the guidelines, Students with co-morbid conditions would be advised not to attend school and instead prefer online mode. SOP adds that Health Department would keep mobile medical teams at block levels for quick response to the need in the schools. Schools would organise regular check-ups for students and teachers, and hand sanitisers would be provided by the Health Department to all government schools,SOP added.