Uniforms and lunch unlikely as schools reopen in Kerala on November 1 | Kerala News
Thiruvananthapuram: The government of Kerala is shedding light on details of the planned reopening of schools on November 1, nearly a year and a half after they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In accordance with the proposals, school uniforms will not be made compulsory when resuming classes in a limited manner, subject to compliance with security protocols.
Midday meals are unlikely to be distributed, at least, during the first stage of reopening. Instead, a lunch allowance would be given to needy students.
Students will not be allowed to eat lunch in schools. This is done to avoid the sharing of food by the students. It will be forbidden for hotels located next to schools to allow pupils to have lunch there.
Students with mild symptoms of an illness would not be allowed to sit in the classroom. Students with disabilities do not need to attend offline classes during the first stage.
Guidelines under development
According to Education Minister V Sivankutty, final guidelines on reopening the school would be released in five days.
Practical models from foreign countries where schools have been reopened will be included in the guidelines. The guidelines are prepared taking into account the views of experts in various fields and international agencies such as UNICEF.
Before the school reopens, meetings will be held at ministerial, district and school levels with all stakeholders. Parents’ consent to send their pupils to schools would be sought. Awareness programs for parents would also be conducted online.
Facilities to check pupils’ oxygen and temperature levels would be introduced in schools. Soap and water will be kept in front of each class. Only two students will be allowed to sit on a bench. Students will not be allowed to assemble outside of classrooms.
A teacher would be responsible for a minimum of 12 students.
Only two students will be allowed to sit in autorickshaws transporting students to schools. Discussions on this will take place with the transport unions. An arrangement would be worked out with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to ensure appropriate travel facilities for students.
As most school buses are in poor condition after months of disuse, efforts will be made to make them roadworthy. Steps would be taken to issue them with certificates of fitness after repair. Help from voluntary organizations would be requested to clean the school premises and laundry rooms before the school reopens.
Continue to take up the post of director
Steps will be taken to fill vacant headmaster positions in Alappuzha schools with immediate effect, the education minister said.
While admitting that there was a delay in promoting teachers as principals, he blamed the teachers themselves for such a scenario.
He pointed out that nearly 5,000 existing cases before the Kerala High Court concerned the promotion of teachers.