Kerala will reopen colleges, and the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all students

Thiruvananthapuram: With COVID-19 restrictions lifted in Kerala, colleges will reopen on October 4 after a one-year hiatus, in accordance with health protocols. According to an order issued by Higher Education Department Joint Secretary Sajukumar, classes for the final semesters of degree and post-graduate courses will begin while strictly adhering to COVID-19 health protocols.

“All institutions under the Higher Education Department shall commence operations on October 4,” it stated.

The final year PG courses will have full attendance, while the final year degree courses will have 50% attendance, according to the statement, adding that the timings will be determined by the college councils based on the space available in the institutions.

The order stated that practical classes for science subjects should be prioritized and that classes for other semesters would continue online.

“The classrooms, libraries, and laboratories should be sanitized well before the start of classes,” the order stated. “The institutions can seek assistance from the local self-government bodies concerned, health workers, or NGOs.”

The state government requested that the respective institutional heads ensure that the students adhere to the strict COVID-19 health protocol.

“The institutions should provide an adequate number of masks, sanitizers, and handwashing facilities. Gatherings should be avoided at all costs “According to the order.

It also instructed the institutions to contact the health department in order to arrange vaccination drives for students and staff. On September 7, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that all higher education institutions, including technical, polytechnic, and medical schools, would be allowed to reopen on October 4 for final year students. He had, however, stated that the reopening of the institutions would be contingent on all final-year students, faculty, and staff receiving at least the first dose of the vaccination.

The government had decided that day to eliminate night curfews and stringent intensified’ restrictions on Sundays as part of its efforts to ease restrictions. The decision was made, according to the Chief Minister, because the state’s Total Positivity Rate, which was around 18.49 percent in the last week of August, fell to 17.91 percent in the first week of September.

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