School reopening in Kerala: parents’ permission mandatory for attending classes

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has released a set of guidelines for the reopening of schools. The guidelines titled ‘Back to School’ have 8 parts.

In the first phase, half-day classes will be conducted for 2 weeks. Permission of parents will be mandatory for all students to attend the classes at schools.

Schools are allowed to decide on providing lunch to the students. Differently-abled students are also permitted to opt-out from attending offline classes in the first phase.

Teachers and other staff must take two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Schools that lack buses can seek KSRTC buses on BOND (Bus On-Demand) basis to ensure the safe commutation of students. Students will be permitted to travel for free in these buses. Drivers and all staff on vehicles on school duty must be vaccinated.

The guidelines also pointed out that all shopkeepers and sales staff in shops close to schools must be vaccinated.
Classes will be conducted in a bio-bubble manner. Hence, no compromise will be made in crowding at classrooms or school campuses.

If any family member tests COVID positive, students must refrain from visiting the school. A special register will be maintained in each school to monitor whether any of the students develop COVID symptoms. The health department will establish a special facility to clear the doubts of parents. The service of a doctor will be ensured at the school.

The health department and education department have jointly prepared the guidelines.

Only 3 students will be allowed in autorickshaws on school duty. Mask and hand sanitiser will be provided in the schools.From classes 1 to 7, a maximum of two students will be allowed to sit on a bench.

V Sivankutty, minister for education informed that schools will be cleaned with the support of the public. Online classes will continue along with offline classes. The schedule of the classes will be announced soon. In the initial phase, uniform and assembly will not be made compulsory.

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