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Karnataka schools to follow these guidelines once they reopen

May 16, 2020

The Karnataka government has issued guidelines for schools to follow to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic once they reopen. The government has suggested strict social distancing norms and creating awareness among students about cleanliness and sanitisation, among other precautions in the guidelines. The kids should wash their hands with soaps after using toilets. They should maintain social distancing while having lunch as well.

The Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) had also suggested that the classes from LKG to PUC in all the schools will be conducted in two shifts. However, the guidelines submitted by the Board is yet to be approved by the government. The date of reopening also need to be confirmed.

A meeting was chaired recently by the commissioner of the education department. The Board suggested and also issued a circular about conducting classes in two shifts – 7.50 am to 12.20 noon and 12.10 noon to 5 pm while also maintaining social distancing rules and other safety measures. The schools have been directed to conduct only 36 classes in a week and cut down on co-curriculur activities such as music, art and physical education. The circular also states that the schools must allow only three children on a bench as per the social distancing rule and if the schools are short of space, they may use computer labs or library space. The schools can also make use of community centres, anganwadis and government buildings as they are usually free in the afternoons.

The government also stated that if shift system is followed, milk should be supplied by the schools to the students in the morning or be home delivered in the afternoon. The school may also provide a fixed amount of milk powder according to the child’s attendance.

Experts speak

The Early Childhood Association (ECA) and the Association for Primary Education and Research (APER) have also formulated a set of guidelines for preschools and day care centres to be followed post COVID era. A 54-page document states precautions to be taken at the institutions such as staggered reopening dates for different classes – with older kids first and then followed by the younger kids. It also recommends tweaking the vacation calendar.

It further recommends that a thermal check be carried out every day for students travelling in school buses. For organisations that provide meals, the guidelines suggests that they be served in classrooms, instead of dining area. Books from the library should not be provided to pre-school students and toys should not be shared to contain the spread of the infection. The staff should be trained about the precautions to be taken once the schools and day care centres reopen. It urges parents not to pressurise kids about academics and keep in touch with the management about the travel and other details of their wards time to time. “Preschool education is gaining prominence over the last few years. Parents should not take early education lightly as it would have an impact on the overall learning levels of children. We have urged parents who can pay to not stall fee payments if possible because many of these preschools cannot sustain otherwise. Preschools too, have to be flexible and allow partial payments,” said Swati Popat Vats, president, ECA and APER.

Recommended: HRD Ministry releases alternative academic calendar for secondary school

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