Karnataka: Reopen schools for all, urge doctors and educationists | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: With the government staying mum on a decision to reopen primary classes, educationists and stakeholders are beginning to up the ante, seeking immediate action on the issue.
‘Vidyarthigala Nade Shaleya Kade’, a group comprising stakeholders, educationists and health experts that has been seeking reopening of schools for months now, has already chalked out their next course of action — to leave children on school campuses from February 1.
The group has been vociferous on the issue and had earlier put pressure on the government by shooting videos of schoolchildren demanding reopening of schools in December.
The government then allowed campuses to reopen for classes 10 and 12 from January 1, while on-campus Vidyagama sessions for classes 6-9 also began the same day. At that time, the government had said it will decide on throwing open campuses for other classes after 15 days, depending on the situation.
VP Niranjanaradhya, Centre for Child and Law, NLSIU, who is batting for schools to reopen, said about the campaign: “We had initially planned to start the new campaign on Monday (January 25), but have decided to wait till February 1. As per the campaign, parents will leave their children on campus when they leave for work as they believe it’s the safest place for their children. School development monitoring committees have requested the cooperation of teachers to look after children.”
He went on to say, “Unlike older children, primary school graders will not be able to manage lessons by themselves. They need guidance from teachers. When the Supreme Court has said even anganwadis can open, why is the government still hesitating on opening schools?”
Moydeen Kutty, president, School Development Monitoring Committee Coordination Forum, said: “Children, and their parents, have been sitting at home for almost a year now with no learning happening. Parents are unable to go to work as they have no place to send their children. Those homes where parents used to go to work leaving the younger child in the care of an older sibling are also in a dilemma now as older children are back in school.”
The worry is also about providing midday meals. Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, physician and activist, said: “World over, schools have reopened and classes for grades 10 and 12 have begun here too. Have Covid-19 cases increased after schools reopened? It has been proved time and again that children between 3 and 10 years of age are the least affected by Covid-19. For young children, school is not just about academics; it is also about learning social skills. Inadequate nutrition has also been a major concern. It’s time the government provides straight answers.”
The department of public instruction has said it has already recommended to the government to resume oncampus classes for grades 9 and 11. “It’s up to the government now. Reopening classes 6 to 8 have been discussed orally. However, we are moving cautiously on reopening for primary grades,” said V Anbukkumar, commissioner.

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Sagar Biswas

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