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Schools reopen in Karnataka, mixed response

May 18, 2022

Schools across Karnataka commenced in-person classes for the next academic year on Monday, drawing mixed responses from parents. While some were enthusiastic to send children to school on day one, the others choose to wait for more time.

Schools across Bengaluru wore a festive look on day one. While some schools chose to welcome students by handing out roses, the others had their campus decked with flowers, balloons and motivational posters. Eager to welcome students, teachers at private schools were seen waiting to welcome students right at the entrance of the school.

Government schools on the other hand began the academic year by serving sweet dish to students on day one to motivate them to return. A government order released on the previous week had it that students must be served sweets on their return and mid-day and Ksheera Bhagya (milk) schemes must commence just as the schools begin.

Although government schools reported between 70-80 % attendance according to teachers, a growing enthusiasm among students to return was prevalent, they said.

H K Manjunatha of the Karnataka Public School in Bengaluru’s Hebbal said that the attendance on day one was around 70 %. “This is good for the first day of school and we are expecting this to pick up gradually. Some children have relocated to other districts or parents might have sent children during harvest season. They should return in a week. Schools have reopened 15 days in advance this year to make up for the learning loss,” he said.

D Shashikumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said, “On day one, children have returned in good numbers. Some children who were previously admitted to schools are still remaining out of school. Apart from that, the ones who have sought admission are enthusiastic. The onus is on us to make up for the learning loss, encourage them to take vaccinations, follow Covid appropriate protocols with no lenience,” he said.

Shashi Kumar also condemned the government that even when schools are trying to adopt a spiral approach to make up for the pandemic-induced learning loss, textbooks have not been supplied to school. “Every year, children are always denied access to textbooks in the start of the academic year. This is continuing. Education minister B C Nagesh’s focus has been on petty politics rather than focusing on the needs of children,” he said. 

B C Nagesh, minister for primary and secondary education said, that the first three months of school will primarily be the play way of learning to draw children back to school and hold their attention better. 

Also Read: Just three days for classes, Karnataka schools have no textbooks

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