The Kerala government will reopen schools from November 1 for classes 1 to 7 and classes 10 and 12. It has issued a series of guidelines for the same. All staff and teachers have been directed to be vaccinated with both doses of vaccine before schools reopen. Drivers of vehicles to be used by schools for transportation of children must also be vaccinated.
The state health minister Veena George has said that classes will be arranged in a bio-bubble system meaning students in a class will be divided into batches. Only one batch will be allowed to attend physical classes at a given time, and interact with each other. Schools are planning to put students who come from the same area into a single batch. That way their travel could also be arranged together. In each class, there will be two or three bio bubbles. Children in one bio bubble should not have close interaction with another bio bubble at any given point. If anyone tests Covid-19 positive in a bio bubble the rest of the students will also go into quarantine.
Students have been directed to bring written permission from their parents allowing them to return to schools. Classes will begin between 9 am to 10 am and will be allowed till the afternoon in the first two weeks. It will be divided in half as batches and each will be allowed to attend schools for two or three days a week. On one bench maximum of two children can be seated.
If any school has more than 1000 children, classes must be arranged in such a way that only 25 per cent of the children should be on campus at any given time. Children with any kind of co-morbidities or those whose family members are Covid-19 positive have been directed not to attend schools.
Rooms with good air circulation must be used for taking classes and only fans should be used. If possible, schools can take classes in the open air. Mid-day meals in schools can be provided depending upon the situation in each school. Classes must be sanitised every day. Toilets are to be disinfected at regular intervals. Children have been advised to bring drinking water from their homes.
The remaining classes will begin on November 15. The Kerala chief minister had earlier directed the state authorities to complete the necessary requirements to reopen the schools at least 15 days in advance.