Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on September 9 announced there would be a five-day break for school students attending online classes, starting September 21 to reduce their stress and help them refresh. School education minister KA Sengottaiyan said a brief vacation has been planned for the school students to help reduce their stress.

The minister said that on normal occasions, students are provided quarterly and half-yearly holidays. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools had to switch to online mode of teaching. "With chief minister K Palaniswami's consent, online classes and telecast of video lessons on television channels will not be conducted from September 21 to 25," he added. He stated that the vacation for students would help them refresh.

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The minister added that all the schools, including private institutions, would be monitored by block-level officers to check whether classes are conducted during these five days. On the Centre's standard operating procedures (SOP)for partial re-opening of schools for students of classes 9 to 12, Sengottaiyan said consultation would be done after the COVID-19 situation improves in Tamil Nadu.

On Saturday, the government had directed the schools not to compel students to attend online classes. Commissioner of School Education Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan wrote to all Chief Educational Officers (CEOs) in the state directing them not to compel students to attend online classes.

According to reports, teachers have also been asked to ensure all students, who have been absent from online sessions, are suitably coached and brought on par with other students when the schools reopen.