Bengaluru: After witnessing a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases for over a week, the Karnataka government has decided to open the educational institutions starting from November 17.
As the first step, the government would allow opening of degree colleges, along with diploma and engineering colleges. However, decisions on Pre-University and High Schools would be taken after studying the situation for a month.
Karnataka Higher Education Minister Dr Ashwath Narayana said that the idea behind opening of the colleges is to maintain bonding between students and college. It has been seven months since the students have gone to their colleges and they were learning online.
While the government is opening colleges for direct teaching, it would be made optional as the students are free to choose between online coaching and direct teaching in the colleges. Besides, colleges had been issued with strict guidelines on social distancing and sanitization of college premises. Even if anyone is infected during this process, the government has decided to take care of such situations, Dr Ashwath Narayana said.
Meanwhile, the Primary and Secondary Education Department has given a three week interim holiday for the schools and have asked the schools not to take up even online teaching during this period.
The decision was taken after doctors and experts felt that the online teaching was putting pressure on the eyes of the school children, where eye sight problems among children had gone up by 30 per cent during the pandemic. Besides, the online teaching also exerts tremendous pressure on children's minds, the experts felt.
Besides, the government's initiative of direct teaching in government run Primary and Secondary school premises for those who can not afford online equipment also backfired. Many school children as well as teachers contracted COVID-19 and the government withdrew it's initiative. The government is now constituted an expert committee to give prepare a detailed recommendation on starting the primary, secondary and high schools.