Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said counselling sessions should be held for school and college students who may be in a particular state of mind after losing not just classes but also friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said schools and colleges should have counsellors when the institutions re-open, according to an official press release.
The decision was taken in the COVID review meeting in which it was also decided that first year undergraduate students below 18 years of age, who are unable to get vaccinated due to their age, would be exempted from the requirement of getting both doses of vaccine to attend classes, the release said. Students who do not have time to take the second dose of the vaccine would also be allowed to attend classes, the Chief Minister said at the meeting.
Also, he said awareness programmes should be conducted for teachers and students who are reluctant to take the vaccine, the release said. Besides, it was also decided at the meeting that fitness of school buildings and vehicles to be used to ferry students should be ensured and bus services should be increased in connection with re-opening of educational institutions. Uniforms are not mandatory in the early stages of school opening, said the Chief Minister.
According to the release, restrictions on public events would continue and special permissions must be obtained for programmes requiring exemption. With regard to the prevailing heavy rains, the Chief Minister said 48 relief camps have been set up and relief work was progressing.