Karnataka

Karnataka | Classes for SSLC, PUC, to begin from January 1

B.S. Yediyurappa. File  

From January 1, 2021, classes will be held for students of Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC)/10th and second Pre-University Course/12th. The ‘Vidyagama’ scheme, a continuous learning programme, will also be restarted for students of classes 6-9.

This was the unanimous decision taken at the end of an hour-long meeting by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday. He, along with Minister for Education S. Suresh Kumar and Minister for Health K. Sudhakar, met with heads of various departments and other experts to take a decision on restarting schools.

Speaking to reporters after Mr. Yediyurappa announced the restarting of schools, Mr. Suresh Kumar, however, clarified that it was not compulsory for students to come to schools and PU colleges to attend classes. “They may continue with online classes. For the benefit of students, lessons are also being telecast on DD-Chandana, while also being available on Samveda platform on social media,” he said.

He said that the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), that was constituted by the government following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State, had made several recommendations on restarting schools.

“We wanted to take a decision on restarting schools in November. However, the TAC had suggested holding off the decision till the third week of December, given the winter conditions and possibility of a second wave,” he said. The meeting, he added, decided to restart classes for SSLC/ 10th, second PUC/ 12th to prepare students for the public examinations.

The TAC, which had earlier made recommendations and drew up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the conduct of SSLC examination earlier this year, had also readied SOPs for restarting the schools, including measures to be taken by the schools and duration of classes.

To begin with, only three periods a day will be held and classes will be held for different standards on different days. Each class is to have no more than 15 students. Every school will have to have an isolation room for children who have or develop symptoms, like cold, cough and fever. Measures taken during SSLC examinations, such as thermal screening, sanitisation (water and soap), will be put in place. The Departments of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Urban Development would take up sanitisation of classrooms in all government schools in the State.

Mr. Suresh Kumar said that depending on the number of days available to hold classes, a decision will be taken on when the examinations can be scheduled and if any lessons need to be left out. “On DD-Chandana, the portions will be completed by this month end, and revision will begin from January,” he said.

The meeting also decided to reopen the hostels run by the Department of Social Welfare and Backward Classes. Students of these hostels will be tested before being admitted, he said.

Vidyagama scheme

The Education Minister stated that ‘Vidyagama’ was not a patented government scheme and hoped that private schools would also take it up in the interest of students.

He also said that the scheme would be different this time around, adding that classes will be held in school premises for three days a week. Students who wish to attend these classes will have to get a permission letter signed by their parents that also clarify that their wards do not have any symptoms.

With regard to providing midday meals, Mr. Suresh Kumar said, as was apprised in the High Court, providing meals was not feasible, since only three periods would be held. “Instead, we will provide all the food ingredients to the children’s homes,” he said.

Later, Mr. Sudhakar said while the government had taken a decision to restart classes in the interest of ensuring continuous learning among children, health and safety of children was also its responsibility.

The TAC had recommended taking up a sero survey again. “We were anticipating a second wave and had taken several measures as per TAC’s recommendations. The recovery rate is above 97%, while the positivity and fatality rates have dropped. The government has been successful in containing the spread to a large extent,” he said and added with the vaccines likely to be administered in January, the number of positive COVID-19 cases may drop further.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:32:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-classes-for-sslc-puc-to-begin-from-january-1/article33372342.ece

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