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Covid-19: schools in Tamil Nadu to remain closed, government puts reopening plan on hold


Days after seeking parental input, the Tamil Nadu government reversed its decision on Thursday to reopen schools from November 16 for classes 9-12 and said they will remain closed.

While the universities were also scheduled to operate as of November 16, the government said colleges and universities will reopen as of December 2 only for researchers and final-year graduate students from science and technology streams.

“The opening of colleges for all other courses will be announced later,” the government said in an official statement, adding that the shelters would be opened only for those students who will resume their studies from next month.

Revealing the result of state consultations conducted with parents from private, government and attended schools on November 9 regarding the start of classes for the 2020-21 academic year for higher standards, the government said opinion was divided.

Parents in some schools wanted the institutions to reopen, but others were against such a move in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and the school education department analyzed the views comprehensively, the statement said.

“The order to reopen schools as of November 16 for classes 9-12 is canceled. An announcement will be made later about the reopening of the schools depending on the situation, ”the government said based on comments received from parents.

After Prime Minister K Palaniswami said on October 31 that schools and universities could reopen from November 16, DMK Chairman MK Stalin criticized the government for its “hasty” announcement.

The opposition leader had said that a decision on the reopening of schools should be made only in January 2021 after analyzing the pandemic scenario.

A section of parents also expressed their apprehension about the beginning of classes for grades 9-12 as the pandemic had not yet subsided and to what extent students could adhere to measures against the spread of the virus in schools.

As of November 11, a total of 7,50,409 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu, of which 7,20,339 had recovered. While 18,655 was the number of active cases, the death toll stood at 11,415.

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