Karnataka Schools To Stay Shut Until December, Government To Review Situation At Year End
The Karnataka government will review the situation in the third week of December to make a decision over reopening schools.
Schools in Karnataka will continue to stay shut until the end of December. Following a meeting of top officials, and based on recommendations of the technical advisory committee, the government of Karnataka today announced that it would not open schools until the end of December.
A review of the situation would be held in the third week of December and depending on the pandemic situation, a decision regarding the reopening would be taken, said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
“As per the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), it has been decided that a decision pertaining to the opening of schools will be taken only after reviewing the situation up to the end of December,” tweeted the Chief Minister.
As per the proceedings of the TAC meeting that was held on 22 November, after extensive deliberations it was unanimously agreed that schools would not reopen in December.
Colleges in the state have reopened from 17 November but the attendance has been dismal. The state also plans to open medical and paramedical colleges in the state from 1 December. The TAC would be looking at the impact of the opening of the colleges in the coming days.
The report of the proceedings mentions that the current scenario of Covid-19 in the state is showing a decline with around 1,700 cases and 20 deaths reported daily. It also states that “it is important to consolidate this gain that is made after great efforts in the last eight months to contain this disease”.
Given the spike in cases in the state of Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan among others, and the onset of winter which makes it conducive for the occurrence and spread of respiratory infections including Covid, the TAC said it would be in larger public interest to continue to keep schools shut.
Minister for Health and Medical Education Dr S Sudhakar in a meeting of the Education Department chaired by Yediyurappa was against the reopening of schools and pre-university colleges. “While on the one hand, the cold weather will facilitate the spread of the virus, there is also news of a second wave of the pandemic. In such a situation, we should not be reopening schools,” said Sudhakar.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Minister for Education S Suresh Kumar said there were two strong views pertaining to the reopening of schools — one that they should stay shut and the other regarding the troubles faced by schools and students in rural areas.
After engaging all stakeholders, and keeping in mind the opinion and concerns of parents, the education department had a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, taking stock of the situation including the number of SSLC students, alternative means of continuing lessons, and accepting the recommendations of the TAC that Dr Sudhakar presented in considerations. “There is no question of reopening schools of the primary classes. As for the higher classes, we shall review the situation at the end of December,” he said.
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