Full day classes in schools, colleges by month-end

Schools told to make arrangements to accommodate all students

Schools and colleges should gear up to conduct classes for all students from morning to evening by the last week of this month.

The decision was taken at a COVID-19 review meeting here on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed schools to begin making arrangements to accommodate all students. Till then, classes will be held in batches.

Classes 10 to 12 have resumed normal school hours this week in batches. This, though, will change in the wake of the review meeting decision. For Classes 1 to 9, in-person classes will resume in batches, in the week beginning February 14.

Meanwhile, Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty said at a press conference here on Tuesday that additional guidelines would be brought out by the General Education Department before students from pre-primary level to class 9 returned to school.

Meetings with department officials were under way to finalise the additional guidelines, the Minister said.

Detailed guidelines had been issued ahead of school reopening on November 1, and had guided their functioning till the most recent surge in the COVID-19 case graph that led to the shift to online classes for students of class 1 to 9 from January 21.

Discussions were on how to go about completing the portions for SSLC and higher secondary students who will appear for the public examinations, he said. Examinations that had been scheduled would be held as decided.

A decision on examinations for classes 1 to 9 will be taken later. Under the Right to Education Act, students from class 1 to 8 cannot be detained. Moreover, once these students return to school for offline classes, they will have only very limited working days before the public examinations begin. While examinations will help students gauge their academic levels, the department looks likely to wait before taking a final call.

About complaints related to fee in private schools, alleged failure to conduct offline classes, and denial of online education to those who failed to pay fee, the Minister said schools functioning in violation of government or General Education Department norms would be deemed as committing a serious lapse.

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