Midday meals put on hold in Kerala as schools are set to reopen from November 1

With some detailed measures in place, Kerala is finally set to reopen schools from November, as caseload drops in the state 
Image for representation (Pic: Express)
Image for representation (Pic: Express)

Even as cases saw a significant drop in the rest of the country after the devastating second wave in India, Kerala continued to report high numbers, carrying the more than half the caseload of the country in the last few months. September has seen Kerala report 23, 897 cases so far, decreasing encouragingly every week.

It is against this background that the Kerala government is putting together its back-to-school plan, slowly but surely. Around September 10, Higher Education Minister R Bindu has decided that colleges will reopen from October 4 with fifty per cent strength after discussions with principals and health experts. The government has been mulling over reopening schools as well, after a gap of almost 16 months.

To put these concerns at rest, the Kerala government announced on Friday that schools will reopen in Kerala from November 1, with some rather strict COVID protocols in place. Midday meals have been put on hold, and only two students per bench has been mandated.

Classes will be conducted only up until noon, and gradually, a shift system will be introduced. While stating that crowding of any sorts will be banned in classrooms, the Education Minster V Sivankutty said  “The arrangement of batches will be decided after detailed discussions with the school managements and parents-teachers associations. As of now, we are planning to allot three days in a week for a batch. Curbs will be imposed on students’ visits to bakeries and eateries near schools.”

For parents, awareness programmes online are in the pipeline, and they will have to refrain from sending their kids to school if they show any signs of infection or disease. However, schools continue to stay shut for disabled students who have been asked to continue attending classes from home. Schools have been directed to stay equipped in case of any emergencies. Crowding in buses is also going to be monitored

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