Chennai, After a gap of nearly 600 days, schools for Classes one to eight re-opened in Tamil Nadu after the COVID pandemic, with the teachers and principals according a rousing welcome to the students.
After being confined in their homes taking online classes for nearly one-and-a-half years, enthusiastic students, braving rains in several districts and accompanied by their parents entered the school premises to attend physical classes by following the Standard Operating Procedures put in place by the government.
The students were welcomed with smiling faces, beating of drums in front of the school gates and teachers presented them with flowers and sweets.
In districts like Salem, students were garlanded by the authorities. All government, government-aided and private schools resumed physical classes from today.
Setting an example, Chief Minister M K Stalin, accompanied by Health Minister Ma.Subramaian and other officials, sprang a surprise by personally visiting a school at Maduvangarai area in the city and welcomed the students by distributing sweets and flowers to them.
He also inspected the facilities put in place by the school management for the benefit of students. As part of COVID preventive measures, only 20 students were allowed in each classes on rotation/shift basis and the government had made it mandatory for the teachers to have taken both the doses of COVID vaccine.
Amid demand from certain quarters urging the government to re-open the schools after diwali festival that falls on November four, the government had categorically stated that it was not mandatory for the students to attend physical classes and they could continue with online classes.
Ahead of re-opening of schools, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin called upon schools and teachers to welcome children with smiling faces and offer them sweets and flowers.
In a statement, he said the teachers should dispel the anxiety of the students over the corona virus pandemic and advised them to opt for stories, playing, singing and painting to boost their confidence and memory during the first two weeks.
“Even though they are familiar with schools, students are coming to schools after a great crisis. Though a full stop has been put to corona, people are still anxious about the virus. Since the anxiety is especially widely prevalent among school children, it is our bounden duty to welcome them with smiling faces and embrace them to dispel their anxiety,” he added.
In several districts, MPs, MLAs and local body representatives, school managements and headmasters offered sweets and flowers to students as per the directives of the Chief Minister. Welcoming students of Classes I to VIII to schools, the Chief Minister advised them to get over the past and look forward to a positive future, as they enter schools after missing about 600 days of regular schooling.