Thiruvananthapuram: After a hiatus of more than one-and-a-half year due to coronavirus outbreak, schools in Kerala are set to reopen in a staggered manner from November 1 starting with classes 1 to 7, 10 and 12 and with COVID protocols, like bio-bubbles in place, the state government said on Sunday.
With 95 per cent of the population who are over 18 years of age being vaccinated with at least the first dose and a reduction in the number of new cases and people undergoing COVID-19 treatment, the state has been able to relax social restrictions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
In this backdrop, the state government has decided to open schools with utmost vigilance and in a staggered manner, the CM said in a Facebook post.
To keep schools functioning in a safe manner, guidelines prepared by the Health and Education departments need to be strictly followed by the schools, he said.
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He further said the schools need to implement the measures to control congestion, maintain social distancing and ensure cleanliness in classrooms and the surroundings.
Earlier this month, the state government had given details of the preparations made by it to safeguard children from getting infected, once schools reopen.
The preparations included cleaning and disinfecting places where children throng and strictly implementing the bio-bubble system.
School authorities have been directed to prepare mid-day meal for children and distribute them adhering to COVID protocol besides ensuring them the service of a doctor, the Education department had said.
Along with soap and sanitiser, thermal scanner to examine the body temperature of children, teachers and non-teaching staff would also be arranged in each school.
In view of the COVID spread, the state government has been imparting online education to the children in the government and aided schools for the last two academic years including the ongoing one.
The CM, on Sunday, said although studies were progressing well via the online method, children were missing out on studying and playing with their friends and therefore, the situation would be changing from November 1.