Days after holding a meeting with the parents on re-opening the schools, the Tamil Nadu government has on Tuesday announced that the schools for classes 10 and 12 will be re-opened on January 19, with the view of the welfare of the students of these two classes to prepare for the upcoming board exams.
Along with the resumption of classes for 10 and 12, the government has also permitted the schools to resume the hostels for these students from January 19. According to a press statement issued by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, the government has arrived at a final decision of reopening the schools for classes 10 and 12 after consulting all the concerned stakeholders, including parents. In the statement, the government said that each class must only have 25 students and the schools must follow the standard operating procedures issued by the state government.
The government's decision to re-opening the schools has come days after it has got a nod from most of the parents to resume the schools. Last week, the schools across the state had held meetings with the parents of the students of classes 10 and 12 to obtain the views and opinions from them on resuming the schools after Pongal. During the meeting, the parents had given their response to the government on its decision of opening the schools after Pongal.
The school education department has said that 70% of parents had said to open the schools for classes 10 and 12 after Pongal. The majority of parents stated to the respective schools that their children have to prepare for the upcoming board exams and the schools must be opened to help them prepare for the exams. They said that online classes lack the atmosphere of school coaching and they should learn the practical classes in schools.
In the statement, the Chief Minister said that 95% of the schools have submitted reports that most parents have consented to re-opening the schools for these students. The government has said that it has decided to re-open the schools for the welfare of the students and the schools for classes 10 and 12 can re-open on January 19 and the staff and students must adhere to the standard operating procedures issued by the government.
The schools in Tamil Nadu have been shut down since the last week of March 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown and during the unprecedented shutdown, the students had settled up for a new normal of studying online. The government had earlier canceled the board exams last year for class 10 and it had promoted the students to the next level. The government's decision of resuming the schools has come when the health experts had raised concerns and objected not to resume the schools owing to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.