Following the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in India, many states are taking a decision to reopen schools. One such state is Karnataka. Karnataka CMBasavaraj Bommai had said, “Already the experts committee has given the report, we will issue the order. Regarding, from when (to start the classes) and all those details, the Chief Secretary will hold a meeting with the education department”
The COVID-19 cases have been declining in the state. Therefore, the government had reopened schools for students of classes 6 to 8 from September 6. For students of classes 9 to 12, schools have been reopened from August 23. However, on the recommendation of the state’s Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19, the decision of opening schools for classes 1-5 have been taken.
When are Physical classes resuming for classes 1-5?
Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh said “If they say from October 21, we will start; if they say a week later, we will start a week later, but our plan is to have half-a-day classes during the initial one week or so, and thereafter full day classes, once students get used to it.”
From November 2, full day classes will resume. However, the attendance will not be compulsory for students. As some of the parents might be apprehensive, the option of taking online classes will also be available.
Although B C Nagesh said, “It is only a few parents who still do not want to send their children to school. The majority want to send their children… The department will issue guidelines based on the standard operating procedures soon.” Consent of the parents is still mandatory.
According to a government circular,
- Classrooms and restrooms will be sanitized daily.
- There will be screening of Covid-19 symptoms at the entry gate of the schools.
- Maximum of 50% capacity will operate in class rooms. (Unless proper infrastructure is available with schools)
- Social distancing to be maintained at all times, especially at entry and exit gates
- Only fully vaccinated teachers will be allowed
- Teachers aged above 50 years have to use face shields (compulsorily)
Additionally, the minister said “Teachers will be asked to teach Covid-appropriate behavior in schools. DDPIs and BEOs will be given strict instructions on that.” It is to be noted that a huge learning gap was created due to the closure of schools since the beginning of the pandemic. This will also be addressed post reopening of schools.