The Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to set up an expert panel to frame guidelines for primary and secondary education for the academic year 2021-22 amid apprehensions of a third COVID-19 wave hitting the state and upsetting even the upcoming academic year. The committee will oversee assessment models, online education, offline education, teacher training methodology, pragmatic utilisation of budgetary resources, and many other related issues, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar said in a statement.
According to him, the committee will comprise eminent educationists, representatives from Indian Institute of Science, NIMHANS, child specialists, members of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID, eminent health experts apart from officers and representatives of parents, private schools and teachers associations. The implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) in letter and spirit will be on the top of the agenda during the ensuing academic year, he said.
Kumar also said dependents of government and government aided school teachers who died on COVID duty will get financial assistance from Teachers Benefit Fund. "As they (teachers) are at the forefront of delivering their responsibilities, it has been decided to put up a proposal to the Health Department to term them as COVID warriors and provide them priority in administering the vaccine," Kumar said.
The process of teacher recruitment would be expedited by completing the formality of cadre and recruitment amendment as early as possible. He also said textbooks will reach children in two months time. Last year too, Karnataka had constituted the expert committee headed by noted educationist MK Sridhar to look into imparting online education in the wake of the COVID-19, and it had recommended teaching online or by using printed material.