Schools in Karnataka likely to start on January 1 for students in classes 10 and 12

Advisory committee has recommended that Vidyagama not be conducted for lower primary students at the the start of the year

Schools in Karnataka are likely to resume classes on January 1 for students in classes 10 and 12 who are preparing for their board examinations. This was the recommendation of the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), whose members met with officials from the Department of Health and Family Welfare and Department of Primary and Secondary Education on Thursday to discuss the reopening of schools.

In what appears to be a staggered approach to the reopening of schools, the committee said that after observing how these classes are conducted for a span of two weeks, regular classes for students of classes 9 and 11 can be held from January 15 onwards.

The committee has also recommended that the Vidyagama programme, which the government is set to re-launch on January 1, not be conducted for lower primary students (classes 1 to 5). Under the new format, applicable to government, private and aided schools, students can come to campus in small batches and attend classes. The committee has however said that Vidyagama can be conducted for students from classes 6 to 9 from January 1 onwards.

The government will, in all likelihood, follow these recommendations. “In our submission to the High Court, we have said that Vidyagama will be started from January 1 for students from classes 1 to 10. But, we will in all probability follow the TAC’s recommendation,” a senior official of the department of primary and secondary education said.

On Wednesday, the department issued an order for Vidyagama to be relaunched from January 1. The programme which began on August 8 was put on hold on October 10 after a few students and teachers who attended them allegedly contracted COVID-19.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar in a press release stated that a decision will be taken after consulting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. The Department of Primary and Secondary Education has said that students who have symptoms such cough, cold, and fever should not attend classes.

Those children who have COVID-19-like symptoms cannot attend classes.The press release issued by the department states that once these students recover they have to bring medical reports before attending school. Parents in the consent letter have to mention that their wards do not have symptoms like loss of smell or taste.

However, despite this, many private schools affiliated with the central board that The Hindu spoke to said that they will not conduct Vidyagama and will continue with online classes. “Once the State government issues an official order regarding this, we will consider conducting practical classes for classes 10 and 12 students,” said the principal of a CBSE school in Bengaluru.

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