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Karnataka: Schools closure likely, Vidyagama programme to resume

January 7, 2022
In the wake of rising cases of Covid-19 across Karnataka where the positivity rate is 4.18%, the department of public instruction has ordered districts across the state to brace for a possible closure of schools yet again and prepare for the Vidyagama programme. 
The state government, during the previous lockdown, had designed the Vidyagama programme, conceptualized to meet the demands of students in government and aided schools for whom online learning could not be the only feasible option. 
In Bengaluru, starting January 6, in-person classes have already been suspended for all school students except those in class 10. The department has planned Vidyagama as an alternative in that situation where similar decisions are taken for other districts as well. 
“There could be days when schools might have to be shut again in the wake of rising cases. Vidyagama implementation incharge and principals should brace to adopt Vidyagama if such a circumstance arises,” the circular reads. 
Vidyagama is intended at providing continued education, constant teacher-student interaction and also keep in touch with students during these difficult times
Categories of students have been identified. First are those students without mobiles for whom in-person classes would be held, the second category with gadgets but no internet connection and the third category of students who have a mobile, tablet or laptop with stable internet connection. For the second and third categories, if in-person classes are not possible, hybrid learning could be planned. 
Schools can form batches of 20-25 students with one teacher and identify the classes under which they will be categorised and keep these details prepared. Students can be regrouped into different sections if need be. In the absence of routine in-person classes, teachers will meet students at least once a week and give them directions for self-study for the week to come. 
Schools must associate with NGOs to reach students with no gadgets, in case the gadget belongs to the parents, volunteers or teachers must contact the student when the parent is at home and ensure they are in touch. 
Those students with gadgets have been asked to visit schools only once a week where teachers can take an update from them. Should students be unable to come to campus, teachers can meet groups of students in community centres or common public places and take an update on their study status. 
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