Won’t reopen schools for now: Karnataka Medical Education Min Sudhakar

Experts in the Technical Advisory Committee said many of them are not amenable to the idea of reopening schools.
Children in a classroom
Children in a classroom
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Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday said that experts have advised against reopening schools in October. “Currently, the number of cases is high in the state but the recovery rate is also high. Considering that children are likely to get infected if schools reopen when cases are at its peak, experts have advised against the reopening schools and we will not allow schools to open at least in October,” Dr K Sudhakar said.

Speaking to TNM, a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 said that in Tuesday’s meeting with the Health Department officials, several doctors expressed apprehension over reopening schools. 

“We know the situation. Doctors, especially paediatricians are seeing two or three cases of children getting COVID-19 (referring to each paediatrician on COVID-19 duty). We fear this may increase if schools reopen. We fear there may be a shortage of resources to treat children,” the expert told TNM. 

Stating that the standard operating procedure issued by the Union government is comprehensive, the expert said that reopening schools would inadvertently result in children turning positive for coronavirus and this is likely to create panic among parents. 

“The academic year is almost coming to an end considering the Deepavali, Dasara and Christmas holidays. Some experts say it is better to pass all students for this year. But we have to think about Class 10 students as many in government schools have not even had classes. This is something that the committee should still decide on,” the expert added. 

Sources in the Primary and Secondary Education Department said that they are mulling over reopening schools only for students from Classes 9 to 12 as it would be easier to ensure they follow physical distancing. “Even private schools want this. We should see how parents take to this. The biggest concern is regarding SSLC students and we have to come up with a way to ensure they are able to perform well in board exams. But this too, we will decide once experts give us their report,” the source said. 

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