Classes on campus: Higher grades could return first, says Karnataka education minister S Suresh Kumar | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The government plans to reopen Classes 9 to II PU first and the expert committee looking into the matter will submit its report next week, said primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar on Thursday. He briefed the media after the SSLC exams were completed.
However, the expert committee on school reopening may suggest that pre-primary and primary grades may resume first.
The expert committee was formed after another committee headed by Dr Devi Shetty submitted its report on preparing for the third wave. That suggested that the school reopening decision should be decentralised.
However, many committee members feel that all schools should reopen. If schools cannot reopen at once because of crowding, grades 1 to 5 should start first. The committee is likely to suggest they reopen on August 2. Members said the latest ICMR and Lancet studies, apart from international experience, show that children are quite safe. Schools said they’re worried as these children have lost out the most because of the lockdown.
Schools should be allowed to decide on the modalities of reopening — shift system with some classes in the morning and other grades in the afternoon; alternate days or even full school reopening if the number of students is low.
The committee is expected to emphasise that teachers should not be forced to complete the syllabus, but the department should acknowledge learning gaps created over the past 18 months. For this, there should be active learning from August 2021 to May 2023, with three-hour classes for six days a week. A minimum of 300 actual teaching and learning days out of 500 days should be held to achieve core learning outcomes of the lost curriculum and the new 2022-2023 curriculum. A profile of the learning ability of each student should be generated.
The committee also feels that midday meals should be restarted at the earliest. However, some members suggested that if transmission of virus is a concern, dry food like chikki, banana and biscuit should be provided over and above dry rations.
Teachers and parents should be vaccinated to create a bubble. All standard operating procedures and hygiene facilities should be in place and heads of the school and SDMC should ensure compliance.
Beyond SSLC exam:
There are 12 lakh PU seats in the state and the government will ensure that no student who passes Class 10 will face a problem in admission, Kumar said. As all Class 10 students will be promoted, the number of students joining PU courses will be much more than earlier. “District officials are compiling statistics on demand and supply. In case any college wants to increase its quantum of seats, the request will be considered,” he said.
The two-day SSLC exam concluded on Thursday. Around 99.6% students appeared for the language papers. Last year, the attendance was 98.4%.
While 67 Covid-positive students wrote the exam in Covid Care Centres, 152 students with symptoms took the exam in isolation rooms in schools and 706 students from other states crossed the border for the test.

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