Not sure about reopening of schools, TN gives 5-days break to online classes

No online classes will be conducted in Tamil Nadu schools from September 21 to September 25, said State Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan. This step has been taken by the state government to reduce stress among school students.

Sengottaiyan also said the state government has not taken any decision on reopening schools.

The central government had recently allowed partial reopening of schools to conduct classes for students of classes IX to XII, starting September 21.

Madras High Court on Wednesday said that there is restriction in conducting online classes in Tamilnadu.  The Court, however mentioned that the timings and rules framed by the State and Central governments should be followed strictly.

It also directed that a committee should be formed to district head offices to monitor online classes.  There should be regular interaction between students and teachers, the Court said and added that severe action should be taken if the rules are violated. Online classes were initiated by the government as the schools were shut due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Several petitions were filed against the online classes stating various reasons. A few petitioners said that online classes leads to stress in students, causes eye problems and students might see adult websites.

In a big relief to several students who are struggling to access online lessons due to a plethora of reasons ranging from poverty to connectivity, the Commissioner of School Education in Tamil Nadu has instructed all Chief Educational Officers to make sure that no child is compelled to attend the online classes. Also, the attendance in online classes “shall not be counted” while evaluating the performance of a student.

A letter issued by the Commissioner of School Education, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, to all Chief Educational Officers (CEOs) in the state on Saturday, directed that “no teacher shall compel students to attend online classes by using terms like ‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘compulsory’, ‘will be counted in attendance’, ‘grades/marks/evaluation are based on this’, etc”.