As children across Karnataka went back to school today (16 May) after a long spell of online classes and other similar arrangements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government mandated a sweet dish as part of the mid-day meals to welcome them back.
All government schools in Karnataka, about 48,000 of them, which reopened for regular physical classes were reportedly instructed by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka, to prepare at least one sweet dish for lunch.
As per a circular issued by the Department, the schools were also required to be sanitised and decorated to create a festive mood, so as to encourage the children heading back to regular classes after a long gap.
The Department decided to start the academic year early to make up for lost days and the learning gap created over the pandemic period. This academic year will go on up to 10 April 2023, with Dasara vacation from 2-16 October.
In this year, termed the "learning recovery year", special efforts will be made to bridge the gap in education caused over the pandemic. As per the latest reports, the first month of classes will enable this process with a learning recovery programme up to 15 June, after which classes will resume with the regular syllabus.
Further, schools have been advised to visit neighbourhoods and enroll children in schools and use this week to encourage admission by conducting campaigns near institutions.
While the Minister for Education B C Nagesh put out a tweet wishing the entire academic fraternity well, he said all schools are prepared to welcome children back in this new academic year.
Nagesh also shared glimpses of teachers and authorities along with School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) authorities and parents as well as locals who volunteered to clean and spruce up the surroundings of various rural schools, especially to boost the morale of the students making a comeback.
The Minister had shared earlier that the Department has also written to the Department of State Transport to permit travel on the basis of the old bus passes to facilitate the early start to the academic year.
As per some reports, while most teachers welcomed students with flowers, certain villages also saw children being brought to schools in decorated ‘chariots’ of buffalo carts.
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