The Karnataka Health Department on Tuesday held a meeting to look into the feasibility of reopening schools in the state. The Health Department said that it will discuss with medical experts and submit a list of recommendations by Friday.
The experts will meet the Technical Advisory Committee, headed by professor MK Sudarshan, chairperson of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 management, "as soon as possible" to discuss the feasibility of reopening schools.
Currently, the state government has said that schools will not reopen at least until October 15.
While some medical experts suggested that all stakeholders would have to be consulted before giving an opinion, some said that reopening schools is inadvisable as the state government will have no time to gather resources to deal with the eventuality of children testing positive. The experts suggested that they have to discuss with stakeholders and decide whether the guidelines issued by the Union government would be feasible for Karnataka.
"We have to look into what would be suitable for Karnataka. Every state's situation is different and we must not be in a situation where there is panic among parents. We will hold a meeting with the technical advisory committee, which will then submit the report to the health department," an expert, who attended the meeting on Tuesday, told TNM.
Dr MK Sudarshan, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee, said, "The minister has asked the technical advisory committee to give its opinion about reopening schools. The meeting will be held this week and we will submit our report on Friday afternoon to the Health Department. We are looking at the situation in other states. The NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) has released an advisory and the Union government has given its standard operating procedure (SOP). We have to speak to schools, parents and other stakeholders to see whether it is feasible to reopen schools."
The development comes at a time when the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools, a collective of private schools in Karnataka, wrote to the state government asking it to allow the reopening of schools for students in classes 9 to 12. The letter, addressed to Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, included suggestions on measures that schools can take to ensure the safety of students and teachers.