The decision to announce the holiday comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases . "I have directed officials to issue an order declaring a three-week holiday for schools from October 12 to 30 in view of the reports that several teachers have been infected by COVID-19," said Yediyurappa in a statement released to the media.
It also comes a day after the Vidyagama scheme to teach students in government schools was stopped on Saturday. This was necessitated after reports that 34 students in Belagavi and Kalaburagi districts in the state's northern region tested positive. In this scheme, students were taught by teachers in an open space in the community the children resided in.
After schools were shut on March 25 when the lockdown was enforced and extended to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the education department started the Vidyagama programme to teach students in state-run schools. In some parts of the state it was started as early as July.
"The Vidyagama scheme has been launched to enable around 42-lakh students from socially weaker sections to learn in classes held in open spaces under trees or verandah in their school premises," an official said.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has already issued guidelines to reopen schools and colleges across the country from October 15 but the Karnataka government has decided to wait at least till the end of the month due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Former state Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy rapped the state government for cancelling the mid-term holidays for teachers despite a surge in COVID-19 cases over the weeks.
The Dasara celebrations will be held in the intervening weeks and they are expected to be restricted to Mysuru.