School reopening dates likely to be decided today

CM to meet Education Dept. officials

A decision on when schools in Karnataka will reopen is likely to be taken on Monday. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has convened a meeting with Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar and department officials to discuss the matter.

Schools in the State have been closed for over eight months. The department has held consultations with different stakeholders, including parents, teachers, school development monitoring committee members and various school management associations. Many of them said that there was an urgent need to reopen schools as learning and academics of students had taken a severe hit this academic year, said officials of the department.

The Commissioner of Public Instruction, who submitted a report to the State government, said that there was a need to reopen schools and pre-university colleges particularly for class 10 and II PU.

While private schools and PU colleges have started online classes, students enrolled in government and aided schools have been left behind as a majority of them do not have online classes. Although the State government started Vidyagama programme – where teachers of government schools visited neighbourhoods of students and took classes – it was stopped in October. A field study by Azim Premji University stated that 60% of government school students could not access online education. The study covered 1,522 schools. The study also noted that almost 90% of parents of government school students were willing to send their children back to school if the health of their children was taken care of.

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