Schools have been asked to ensure physical distancing, regular disinfection; heads say they are dividing students into small batches, each taught in a separate room
With concerns growing about the spread of the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, schools in the city too, are stepping up safety measures on campus for senior students who are continuing to attend classes.
On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu government said that students of classes 9 too, would only attend online classes in addition to those in lower classes, and that only students of classes 10 to 12 will be on campus for in-person classes as they have their board exams later this year.Earlier, it had said that students of standards 1-8 would take only online classes.
“We are focusing on getting the senior students vaccinated and have also asked schools to ensure that they follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for the safety of students on campus. Specifically, we have asked schools to ensure that physical distancing is maintained by students during breaks between classes, and that toilets as well as other common areas are regularly cleaned and disinfected,” said S. Mars, Chief Educational Officer, Chennai.
Schools have also been asked to take note of teachers who might have symptoms or are on long leave, and encourage them to isolate and not report for duty.
Schools that have a huge strength of senior students attending classes on campus have taken additional measures. N. Vijayan, Correspondent, Zion Group of Schools, said they are making use of all the empty classrooms on campus to accommodate their senior students in small batches. “We have nearly 20 sections for each senior class and students have been divided into batches of 20 students. For lunch breaks too, students are being allowed to eat only in small batches outdoors and teachers too are encouraged to sit in the open spaces on campus rather than in staff rooms,” he said.
For State Board students, the Directorate of Government Examinations had announced in December that revision exams would begin for classes 10 and 12 from January 19.
“Keeping in mind the safety measures, we are working on completing the portions and ensuring students are ready to take up the public exams whenever they are scheduled. These revision exams are the first major exams these students will take since there were no half-yearly and quarterly exams this academic year,” said the principal of a government school in Chennai.She said that both students and teachers are being constantly made aware about wearing masks, and that they were carrying out routine temperature checks as well.