Parental consent letter for physical classes is mandatory and virtual lessons will continue for students who do not want to attend physical classes.

Schools students gathered outisde school building in a town in IndiaRepresentational image
news Education Monday, October 18, 2021 - 17:17

The Karnataka government on Monday, October 18, announced that physical classes for students studying in Classes 1-5 will reopen from October 25. This is for the first time since the onset of the pandemic that schools for primary students are reopening. As per a new order issued  by the government on Monday, October 18, schools for these primary classes will begin from October 25 with 50% capacity. Classes will be held following physical distancing measures and classes will be sanitized on a daily basis. For all classes, teachers need to be fully vaccinated — that is, they should have received  both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Students need to carry a letter of consent from their parents to attend classes. Online mode of schooling will continue for students who do not want to attend physical classes. Teachers who are above the age of 50 years will have to use a face shield while teaching in class.

Currently, schools and pre-university colleges are open in the state for students of Classes 6-12. The COVID-19 situation in the state has remained under control for the past two months, with the positivity rate remaining less than 1%. In a related development, the state government is also likely to start giving midday meals for children in government schools starting from October 21. 

The government also announced that swimming pools will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity and only asymptomatic people who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed. After every batch, the restrooms, walkways, and other common areas must be disinfected. 

Restrictions eased for international travellers

The Karnataka government has also discontinued mandatory checking of RT-PCR test reports on arrival for international travellers, except for those from selected countries. Instead, international passengers will need to upload of RT-PCR reports on the Air Suvidha portal and the airlines will be required to verify that before boarding.

Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said that a meeting with experts on COVID-19 will be held and that there will be a comprehensive discussion on a range of issues, from reopening of schools for all the classes to reopening all commercial establishments and movement of people in the border states.

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