After schools, colleges and university campuses opened partially in Kerala on Monday, after remaining closed for over 290 days due to restrictions and lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 1,350 higher education institutions including arts and science and engineering colleges, state universities and the lone central university in the state located in Kasaragod welcomed a limited number of students in compliance with strict COVID protocols.
Classes restarted for the final year undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Thermal screening, mandatory usage of face masks, social distancing, and frequent sanitisation of campuses greeted students in each institution.
As per the government instructions, only 50 percent of students were allowed in each class and shift system was introduced in many institutions based on the strength of students.
The respective institutions can arrange the classes in their campus in two shifts between 8.30 AM to 5 PM on all days except Sundays, it said.
The decision to increase the working hours and to conduct classes on Saturday has irked a section of the academic fraternity especially those belonging to teachers' unions affiliated to opposition parties.
Schools in the southern state, remained closed since the coronavirus-induced lockdown in March, had opened partially on January 1 in adherence to COVID guidelines.
Classes began for 10th and 12th standard students in the schools in the government and private sectors.