The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday allowed in-person classes for students of classes 1 to 8 from November 1. The standard operating procedure issued in this regard must be strictly followed, it said.
In a statement, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said the decision was based on the inputs from medical experts, educationists and parents.
Students of classes 9 to 12 have already been attending in-person classes.
The experts had contended that students of classes 1 to 8 were under immense stress and experienced a gap in learning as they did not attend in-person classes and remained at home for several months because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Mr. Stalin said.
The School Education Department would make preliminary arrangements for the resumption of in-person classes. He said the lockdown would be in place in the State till 6 a.m. on October 31. “The restriction on social, political and cultural events, festivals and consecrations, among others, would continue.”
Religious places and places of worship would remain closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Mr. Stalin said. All relaxations and restrictions already announced would continue.
The government allowed the weekly grievance day meeting to be held in the office of the Collector every Monday. This was in view of the huge crowd gathering at the Secretariat to submit petitions, he said.
The Chief Minister also appealed to members of the public to exercise caution ahead of the festival season and avoid crowded places. “Only with appropriate restrictions could the third wave [of COVID-19] be avoided,” he said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Stalin chaired a meeting of Ministers and officials to review the COVID-19 situation.