Chennai | Jagran Education Desk: Following a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases across the country, Chief Minister MK Stalin-led DMK-Congress government in Tamil Nadu on Saturday evening allowed schools to reopen for students of classes one to eight on a "rotational basis" from November 1.

The decision was taken after Chief Minister MK Stalin reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Tamil Nadu. However, the new guidelines issued by the state government said that schools would need to follow appropriate COVID-19 norms and standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Union Health Ministry to check the spread of the virus.

Apart from reopening schools for classes one to eight, the Tamil Nadu government has also allowed polytechnics and colleges to resume offline classes. It must be mentioned that medical and nursing colleges were reopened in August following a nod from the state government.

All schools and colleges were closed across India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown amid fears over COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and colleges were allowed to reopen from October last year, but were again closed in April and May after the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic.

However, with a decline in cases, several state and union territory (UT) governments have reopened schools in a phased manner. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had allowed schools for classes 9 to 12 to reopen in the state from September 1 with 50 per cent capacity.

The state government then had asked schools to strictly adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour and follow a rotational system with vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff. It later said health experts, parents and educationists would be consulted to decide on reopening schools for junior classes.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu's total caseload stands at 26.94 lakh, out of which 13,280 cases are active. The death toll, on the other hand, has breached the 36,000-mark while more than 26.44 lakh patients have recovered from the infection in the state, as per the Tamil Nadu Health Department.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma