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Open physical classes from class 1

Karnataka: Open physical classes from class 1, SDMC forum asks

August 9, 2021
-Reshma Ravishanker

A day after chief minister Basavaraj Bommai announced the reopening of physical classes for students from classes eight to second PU, Karnataka State School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMC) Coordination Forum has sought the commencement of physical classes from classes as well. 

The committee which comprises representatives of the school development and monitoring committees and education experts, in a press note, have pushed for the reopening of offline classes for the younger students first.

The forum, in its communication, has also questioned the government’s “unscientific” rationale behind reopening classes for high school and PU colleges while keeping primary schools functioning online.

“It is a step in the right direction for the chief minister to positively consider reopening schools. More than the high school students, there is an immediate need for classes to be reopened for primary school students. Medical experts say the younger ones are at a lower risk. It is questionable whether the government’s move to reopen the higher classes first is backed by a scientific understanding,” the forum has expressed.

Citing that it is not a question of missing in-person classes alone, the forum has reiterated that the primary school children have been missing out on the nutritious mid-day meals and that their personality development has been hampered.

Over 23,629 government schools in the state have a strength of fewer than 50 students. Experts have sought that the government permits physical classes here from August 9, Monday onwards. Concerns have been expressed over students of this age group being forced into child marriage, abuse or child labor.

In a four-point demand placed before the chief minister, the forum has asked that physical classes be started in all schools from classes 1. “It is a matter of pride that this year’s government school enrolments have been so high. The government must see this as the right opportunity and plan a special program to strengthen government schools now. Proportionate to the enrolments, the government must recruit more teachers, improve infrastructure, provide better access to literature and other facilities. The 2007 report on the strengthening of government schools must be placed before the next session and the public education system must be strengthened,” the forum sought.

Also read: School reopening status across India (August 2021)

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