27 students who attended the Vidyagama programme in Kalaburagi have test positive for coronavirus in two places in north Karnataka – four students tested positive in Mashala village from Afzalpur taluk of Kalaburagi district, while the rest 23 students were from Timmapura village in Belagavi district.
Vidyagama scheme is a programme of the state government to teach government school students, who do not have the means to opt for online classes.
As per reports by Bangalore Mirror, around 20 days back, the school headmaster tested positive and was admitted to the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS). Villagers in Belagavi are also boycotting teachers to enter the villages sue to the surge in the number of cases.
However, the education department has denied the reports and stated that students were not infected due to the Vidyagama programme and claimed that it took place among the villagers.
According to The Hindu, primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar said that the children who tested positive were “not infected because of attending Vidyagama” and that the initiative was “safe”. He added, “In Timmapura village, many villagers, including 23 children, have tested positive. The Deputy Director has clarified that there is no basis for the argument that the children got infected because of Vidyagama.” The Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Belagavi also said that the students were asymptomatic and the head master and the teachers tested negative. He said, “However, even there the Deputy Director has said that the students did not contract the virus on the school campus where Vidyagama was conducted as minimum number of students participate in the programme with necessary precautions.”
Kumar said a good initiative like Vidyagama is being portrayed in poor light, which is unfortunate.
Meanwhile, the President of the Belagavi Government Teachers’ Union told The News Minute that about 15 teachers have contracted the virus in the district in the last two months. He said, “We have advised the district administration not to reopen schools until the cases come down. The parents are in a panic, especially after these 30 children tested positive. If the children are being taught in schools, at least we can sanitise the surroundings regularly. Under the Vidyagama programme, we can’t do that. In the meeting CM held with the DCs (Deputy Commissioners) this week, we suggested that the schools not be reopened.”News, States