Karnataka's high schools and pre-university colleges welcomed students back to campus on Monday after almost 18-months. Basavaraj Bommai, the state Chief Minister, said that the government has taken "great care" to guarantee that offline classes are conducted safely and that appropriate preparations have been made to instill trust in students and parents.
Pre-University (PU) colleges have been urged to divide students into distinct batches for offline and online classes, according to a Standard operating Procedure (SoP) issued by the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE). A DPUE official informed The Indian Express that this rule will be imposed particularly to PU colleges with student strength above 100."
Principals and teachers greeted students with flowers as they entered the building. The beating of drums and the blowing of bugles were used by some schools to welcome their students. Some students were provided masks and welcomed by performing 'Aarti' (Hindu tradition of waving of lamps to ward off evil spirits).
In the state's 26 districts, 16,550 high schools' 9th, 10th, and pre-university classes, as well as 5,492 PU colleges, were opened. The classes will take place from 10 a.m. till 1.30 p.m. Due to the increasing number of Covid cases recorded in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur, and Kodagu districts, schools and pre-university colleges remained closed. In these districts, classes are slated to commence from August 30 onwards.
However, special instructions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued by the government to government-aided and private institutions, allowing them to resume physical classes.
Below are some of the key highlights in the SoP:
- Classes will resume only in districts where the test positivity rate is less than 2 percent.
- The number of students who will be able to attend offline classes will be determined by the size of the classrooms.
- To attend offline classes, a consent letter from parents or guardians is required
- Students who have Covid symptoms will not be allowed on campus.
- Mandatory Vaccination is required for all teaching and non-teaching staff, including principals and lecturers.