Karnataka DCs to decide on schools colleges closure

Karnataka: Positivity rate crosses 10%, DCs to decide on schools, colleges closure

January 11, 2022
-Reshma Ravishanker

The Karnataka government has asked deputy commissioners of the respective districts to decide on the suspension of in-person classes in schools and colleges across the state in the wake of the rising cases of Covid-19.

Deputy commissioners have been instructed to take a call taking into account the number of cases reported in a district and in consultation with officials in the department of health and family welfare.

On Tuesday, Karnataka reported a positivity rate of 10.3% and a case fatality of 0.03%. The state has 73,260 active cases, of which 14,000 plus were reported in the last day. 

The government has also proposed to close hostels and student residential facilities where the strength is higher to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The announcement was made by home minister Araga Dhyanendra after a meeting presided over by chief minister Basavaraj Bommai with the technical advisory committee was held on Tuesday in Bengaluru. Bommai who recently tested positive for the virus is currently under home quarantine and met with the officials and health minister Dr K Sudhakar virtually.

Late on Tuesday, the state government also released a revised order which said that outside Bengaluru Urban district where schools and colleges (except classes 10-12, medical, nursing, and paramedical) have been shut for on-campus classes, each Taluk must be considered one unit and assessments must be made based on the prevalence of Covid-19.

SCHOOLS CLOSURE

Meanwhile, Mysuru, deputy commissioner Dr Bagadi Goutham in an order asked that all in-person classes for classes I to X in government, aided, private and residential schools will remain suspended across Mysuru Urban district and Taluk until further orders in the wake of a spurt in cases. He has also warned that strict action would be taken against those who violate the order. A similar decision has also been taken in Belagavi where all in-person classes have been suspended.

The department of education, however, in contrast, is set to hold a meeting with deputy commissioners on Wednesday to lay down specific parameters for closure. “We are not for closure of schools. What is the rationale behind it when medical experts and scientific evidence suggest that the effects are very mild in children? Just because we want to parade that we are keeping our children safe, we cannot make a decision. In fact, the department is asking deputy commissioners to very carefully assess the situation and not jump into a conclusion to close schools and colleges,” a senior official from the department confirmed.

TELEVISION CLASSES

As the number of cases spurts across Karnataka, video classes on television will commence for students across the state starting from January 13. Classes will be aired on Doordarshan’s Chandana channel according to an official circular. Classes are to be aired between 8 am and 6 pm.

Teachers working with students who depend on lessons aired on television have also been asked to follow the television and provide students supplementary learning wherever need be. 

Also read: States which have shut down schools amid Omicron scare

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