As per the latest guidelines issued by the Kerala Government, wearing a mask in public places has been made mandatory. Repeat offenders can be fined up to Rs. 5,000. While issuing the guidelines, the state chief minister Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, also urged the people to wear masks, follow social distancing and maintain personal hygiene, as cases of fever are now being reported from other places in the state as well.
He quoted that, “Masks, social distancing and hand wash must be part of our daily routine.” The DGP of the state, Mr. Loknath Behera, also added that “Penal action in the form of fine will be imposed on those who fail to use masks in public places or in their workspace. Repeated offenders will be fined Rs 5,000.” The first time offenders will be fined Rs. 200. The announcements become more important in the wake of the declaration of the state government to re-open schools in the state from 6th June 2020.
Kerala Schools Re-Opening: Masks Mandatory For Students
Kerala schools re-opening will commence from 6th June 2020. Previously, the state government had declared that the schools would be opening from 3rd June 2020, but the opening date was postponed to 6th June 2020. The opposition parties had raised objections to the resumption of schools in the wake of the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr, which will be celebrated in Kerala on either 4th or 5th June 2020.
A letter was submitted each to the chief minister, and the education minister, after which the decision was taken that along with the schools, higher education institutions in the state will also resume operations from 6th June 2020.
While announcing the re-opening of schools and higher education institutions, authorities have specified that it will be mandatory for the students to wear masks while attending the classes. Otherwise, strict action will be taken against non-compliant students. The penalty for not adhering to the specified guidelines will invite the same penalties as applicable to others in the state.
Kerala Schools Re-opening: Challenges for the authorities
The biggest challenge for the authorities will be to ensure that the infection does not spread in school students. As the norms of social distancing might not be fully applicable to school kids, the use of masks and sanitizers will become extremely important. As the resumption of schools and colleges is still a month away, further guidelines will be shared by the authorities in the meantime. How the students will be able to commute to and from the educational institutions is also a big question.
Students have been advised to continue pursuing the online learning classes so that when the academic session resumes after Kerala schools re-opening, they do not face any difficulties. While the students whose board exams for class 10th and 12th are still pending might have to wait for further announcements from the HRD ministry.