In the backdrop of COVID pandemic, while other states are rethinking their decision to open schools and colleges in 2020, Karnataka has decided that schools and pre-university colleges will not reopen in December.
The post-graduate, diploma and engineering colleges that reopened on November 17 with preventive measures for COVID-19, saw a massive drop in the attendance of students which was not up to the mark.
Parents who were worried schools and PU colleges reopening amid a surge in coronavirus cases breathe a sigh of relief.
A meeting was conducted with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for the decision regarding reopening of schools and pre-university colleges. Following the meeting, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar said during a press conference that the department had taken this decision in the interest of students.
The State technical advisory committee will meet again in the third week of December and a decision will be taken. According to Kumar, the Vidyagama programme will not be conducted. In the program, the teachers visit the neighbourhoods of students from government schools and conduct classes. Due to the students contracting the virus, the program was stopped in October.
The academic year will not be a 'zero academic year'
Kumar, however, stated that the academic year will not be a 'zero academic year' as other means will be used for teaching and learning. Kumar was quoted as saying that, "Teachers are conducting lessons on YouTube, Whatsapp and other online means. This will continue." In addition to these, televised classes are being conducted on DD Chandana.
The COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee had recommended not reopening schools in December. M.K. Sudarshan heads the committee, which met on Sunday and concluded that before the number of COVID-19 cases was brought under control, it was not advisable to reopen schools in the State. Karnataka has reported 24,887 active cases.
Meanwhile, several states have opted to delay the reopening of schools and colleges. Maharashtra, too, has decided to keep the schools closed till December, however, allowed partial opening. In Haryana, children contracted the virus when the schools reopened and the state decided to shut down the schools until further decision on this.
Central Government directed the State Governments to take the decision on reopening of schools with Unlock 5.0. The state governments are contemplating on whether to reopen the schools or not.