Karnataka to decide on reopening of schools on Wednesday

Karnataka Minister Suresh Kumar said the government is studying the Andhra Pradesh model for reopening of schools.
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Karnataka's plan to reopen schools hit a roadblock as the scheduled meeting of the concerned officials could not be held on Monday and has been rescheduled for November 4. After the Andhra Pradesh government reopened schools for classes 9 to 12 on Monday, the Karnataka government too felt the need to deliberate on this model for three days with officials concerned before announcing its final decision. As a result of this, the meeting was convened but due to technical glitches, the meeting had to be called off abruptly.

Speaking to reporters, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said, "We are seriously studying the Andhra Pradesh model for reopening of schools. Prior to taking any decision, we need to examine everything as it is a question of students' lives." He added that the state has agreed to reopen colleges from November 17 even as Karnataka is witnessing a trend of COVID-19 cases coming down.

"Hence we are also giving it a fresh thought to reopen schools," he said and added that even experts have suggested that it would be better if schools are reopened in a phased manner. The minister said that not every student can afford online education. "Prior to reopening, we need to gather information on various fronts besides the health condition of the teachers and students," he said.

"Experts feel that prolonged closure of schools can have a negative impact on a child's mind as well; therefore, we are examining all these things before arriving at a final decision," Kumar said.

Earlier in October, there were deliberations to reopen schools but it was then deferred in the wake of a sudden surge of cases. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on October 11 had announced a three-week holiday for students and teachers in schools in Karnataka.

The Andhra government reopened schools for classes 9 to 12 as well as colleges on Monday after a gap of over seven months. While students of classes 9 and 10 will have half-day school on alternate days, the AP government plans on beginning school for classes 6 to 8 on November 23 after a reviewing the situation. Classes for 1 to 5 will return to school in Andhra on December 14. 

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