The recommendation was made by an 18-member panel which had been formed in May to evaluate and recommend the way forward for school education amid the pandemic, said School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan.

About 40 per cent of the syllabus for school students in Tamil Nadu has been reduced for the academic year 2020-21 based on the recommendation of an expert committee amid the pandemic, School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan said Friday.

The 18-member panel, which was set up to look into reducing the syllabus for the current academic year, submitted its report last month, based on which 40 per cent of the syllabus had been cut, he said.

The state government had formed the committee on May 12 under the leadership of Commissioner of School Education Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan to evaluate and recommend the way forward for school education amid the pandemic. Among the issues assigned to this committee was to evaluate the problems in teaching due to early closure of schools this year, delay in beginning the academic year and how to make good the loss of time due to this delay.

The minister said students of government and government-aided schools could get their doubts in the subjects cleared through Kalvi Television for six hours on Saturdays. Sengottaiyan said the revised State Board syllabus would help students face any type of competitive examination conducted by the Central government.

‘Statue man’ at Chennai’s VGP may retire owing to pandemic

Abdul Aziz (56), popularly known as the ‘Statue Man’, is a popular figure in Tamil Nadu. Standing stationary at the entrance of the VGP theme park, he has attracted the attention of lakhs of visitors over the past 35 years. He is one among many entertainers struggling without a regular income ever since the lockdown was imposed in March.

Having started his career as early as 1985 at the VGP Universal Kingdom Theme Park in Chennai, Aziz is now thinking of quitting and looking for other sources of income.

READ | After 37 years, pandemic may make Chennai’s famous ‘statue man’ move on

“Owing to the lockdown, the company is closed. I am still employed there, but I am not going to work since February. When I enquired with the management, they said they are likely to reopen the park from October 1. That is not confirmed, though. The last payment I received was in March. In April, I was given half the salary, but for the last five months, there has been no payment. I am forced to sell things to survive. None of the old staff working there have been paid in this lockdown period,” he said.

One more lab approved for COVID-19 testing

One more lab in Tamil Nadu has been approved for COVID-19 testing in the state. Techmed Healthcare & Diagnostic Pvt Ltd in Chennai was approved for testing on Friday. With this, the number of labs for COVID-19 testing in the state has gone up to 175 (66 government and 109 private labs).

Chennai airport withdraws e-pass facility

Officials at the Chennai International Airport announced on Friday that the e-pass system, which was available at the airport for passengers, has been withdrawn. Earlier, passengers travelling to Chennai could either obtain an e-pass on the Tamil Nadu E-pass Portal or at a counter at the airport.

From today, passengers travelling to Chennai will have to obtain the e-pass from the state portal.

452 fever clinics conducted in Chennai

A total of 452 fever clinics were conducted in Chennai on Friday. A total of 20,034 people visited the camps with swabs collected from 1,060 individuals. 1,064 people with ILI symptoms were identified and tested for COVID-19, while medicines were provided for those with minor illnesses.

Teynampet (Zone 9) had the most camps with 49 camps conducted, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with eight camps.

State records 5,488 cases, 67 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 5,488 positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the state tally to 5,30,908. Among these, Chennai reported 989 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 1,53,616.

Tamil Nadu recorded 67 deaths on Friday, putting the state toll at 8685. 60 of them had succumbed due to comorbidities.

As of Friday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 46,506 Till date, 3,19,939 males, 2,10,939 females and 30 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 63,03,466 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date, with 85,543 samples having been sent today.

The state discharged 5525 patients following treatment today, putting the total number of recoveries at 4,75,717.

Besides Chennai, 265 cases were reported in Chengalpattu, 151 in Kancheepuram, 258 in Thiruvallur, 33 in Ariyalur, 543 in Coimbatore, 254 in Cuddalore, 106 in Dharmapuri, 88 in Dindigul, 118 in Erode, 91 in Kallakurichi, 115 in Kanyakumari, 68 in Karur, 50 in Krishnagiri, 82 in Madurai, 80 in Nagapattinam, 108 in Namakkal, 72 in Nilgiris, 11 in Perambalur, 123 in Pudukottai, 31 in Ramanathapuram, 53 in Ranipet, 288 in Salem, 38 in Sivagangai, 97 in Tenkasi, 162 in Thanjavur, 67 in Theni, 81 in Thirupathur, 148 in Thiruvannamalai, 101 in Thiruvarur, 90 in Thoothukudi, 104 in Tirunelveli, 187 in Tiruppur, 136 in Trichy, 118 in Vellore, 139 in Villupuram and 39 in Virudhunagar districts.

(With inputs from PTI)

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