The Chennai collectorate has, however, said 29 government and government-aided schools, which are not ready to open and others that the corporation is using as relief camps, will remain closed at least for another day. The collectorate said the heads of these schools will have to take a decision on when classes will resume.
Some private schools have also decided to extend the holiday due to their campuses still being flooded or because of examination reasons. Ravindra Bharati Global School will restart classes only for students of Class 6 and upwards from Monday, while PSBB has decided to reopen its primary school in January.
“Taking into consideration the tender age of these children, the poor condition of the roads and the aftereffects of the floods, the school will reopen for classes on January 4,” a PSBB statement said. Sishya and DAV, Velachery also may take a few more days to reopen.
Education department officials are conducting inspections of schools to check if they are safe and hygienic for children to return. The department had on Thursday issued an advisory to schools to thoroughly clean their establishments and ensure that the premises are safe for students to restart classes.
The officials on Sunday visited schools that were severely affected by the rain and flooding. Their first stop was Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Ashok Nagar, which was unrecognisable a few weeks ago after 6-foot-deep floodwater swamped its campus.
The team included minister for school education K C Veeramani, school education secretary D Sabitha and school education director S Kannappan. Sabitha said staff had cleaned schools over the past five days. “We are going around visiting as many schools as possible to ensure that the cleaning is being done and the schools are in a state of preparedness.”
She said officials will counsel children to help them deal with flood-related trauma. “We will also provide the children medical help, textbooks and uniforms,” she said.