The Karnataka government has decided to reopen schools for classes 9, 10, and first and second year Pre-University students across the state from February 1, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said on Thursday.
The decision was taken after consulting the state Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19, keeping in mind the health and educational future of the students, based on the experience we have gained so far. Kumar said, “We held a discussion with the Health Minister (K Sudhakar) and COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee members… at the meeting, it was decided to start full-day classes for class 9, 10, first and second year PUC (class 11 and 12) students from February 1.”
While speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said that the Vidyagama programme, which enables continued schooling for students from classes six to eight, will continue as it is. A decision on starting classes for the other students would be taken after observing the present set up till the second week of next month, he added.
The schools and PUC colleges were shut due to Covid-19 pandemic since early last year. The government had reopened them for class 10 and second-year PUC (class 12) students, along with Vidyagama programme for students from standards six to nine, from January 1 with the schools functioning for half day.
The department has said offline or online classes will continue as per the choice of students and parents – attendance was not compulsory. Kumar said they noticed interest among students in learning and they were preferring regular classes. Also, there had been demand from parents and School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs) to have continued classes.
On average 75 percent attendance had been reported in second PUC classes, while it was 70 percent in class 10, he said, adding Vidyagama classes recorded 45 percent attendance. Classes were being held as per the standing operating procedure that was prescribed by the technical advisory committee and so far there have been no reports of large-scale infection among students and teachers. The Minister also announced that the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations for the year would be held from June 14 to 25.
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