Department official says action will be taken against schools violating rules if they receive complaints
Some private and government schools, not just in Bengaluru but also in other parts of Karnataka, are allegedly conducting classes for high school students on the campus despite the State government issuing an order that schools cannot open till the month-end even if students want to get their doubts clarified.
A parent whose son is enrolled in a private school in Bengaluru and is currently in Class 9, said, “We did not want to send our son to school, but he said all his friends were going and we were forced to oblige.”
Several videos and photos The Hindu received shows students coming out of their classrooms after attending classes. While some students were seen wearing masks, many had not taken such a precaution. In many instances, students were reportedly told by the managements not to come to the school wearing their uniform.
A senior official with the Department of Public Instruction said they would take action against schools violating rules if they receive complaints. Last week, it had issued a show-cause notice to a private school in the city which was conducting classes for high school students.
But managements of private schools have objected to the government’s refusal to let children come to class to clear their doubts claiming that it was practising “double standards” as it allowed teachers to meet with students under the Vidyagama programme for government schools.
Under this programme, government school teachers visit neighbourhoods where students reside and conduct classes in public places. Teachers of government schools, however, said they were forced to conduct classes on the school campus after many of them, especially those in Bengaluru, did not find alternative space to conduct classes. “Sometimes when it rains, we ask students to rush to the school so that they do not get drenched,” said a government high school teacher.
D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said many private schools decided to conduct classes after they saw teachers from government schools conducting classes on the campus. “This is a violation of the government’s norms and the department should take action against both private and government schools,” he said.
Despite the Centre easing restrictions on students visiting schools from September 21, the State government has issued an order prohibiting this. The Department of Primary and Secondary Education has said that a decision would be taken by the end of the month on if schools could reopen from October 1 after consultation with the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
Minister seeks advice on reopening
Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar has written to all the Ministers and MLAs seeking advice on reopening schools and colleges (pre-primary to PUC). He has requested the Ministers and the MLAs to provide their inputs on when schools and colleges could be reopened and if and when reopened, which classes should be started first. He has also sought advice on what kind of cooperation could be expected from elected representatives and the community.