Tamil Nadu opposition leader urges govt not to open schools and colleges till next year

This file photo shows Indian students taking selfie pictures after receiving their degrees at the Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. (AFP Photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

CHENNAI, Nov 3, 2020, The Hindu. DMK president M.K. Stalin on Tuesday said it was highly condemnable that the AIADMK government had decided to open schools and colleges at a time a second-wave of COVID-19 spread was predicted by organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO), The Hindu reported.

“I want to remind Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami that the safety of the students was very important. Instead of taking any decision in a hurry, he should hold a meeting with parent-teacher associations and medical professionals. Till such time he should put on hold the announcement to open educational institutions on November 16,” he said in a statement.

According to him, parents and teachers were in fear and tension ever since the government made the announcement since they had to ensure safety of students and food and accommodation of students who would stay in hostels.

Recalling that a study done by the WHO in the U.K., Israel, South Korea and Vietnam had come to the conclusion that higher and higher secondary schools had witnessed more infection, Mr Stalin said it was a big question how the educational institutions would be in a position to ensure handwashing and personal distancing.

“We are witnessing that safety measures are thrown to the winds in areas where lockdown regulations are relaxed. If the government is not able to ensure the safety of students, there is a danger of parents, teachers and students getting the infection,” he pointed out.

Mr Stalin said when it came to opening educational institutions, the government administration always had confusion.

“IAS officers and doctors expressed concern that at a time North-East monsoon is expected, change of climatic conditions would add to seasonal diseases,” he said.

Mr Stalin said it was the opinion of teachers and parents that schools and colleges could be opened by the end of January 2021 after Pongal celebrations are over.

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