Karnataka allows classes 6-8 to reopen, barring some districts

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The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced that schools for Classes 6, 7 and 8, except for those in Bengaluru and districts bordering Kerala, will reopen for physical classes from February 22. In Bengaluru and districts adjoining Kerala, however, schools for only Class 8 will open from February 22, Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said. The districts bordering Kerala include Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar

The 2021-2022 academic year will begin on July 15, the minister added. A decision on reopening classes one to five will be taken next week, he said.

Technical Advisory Committee appointed by the state government met on Monday and recommended that schools can be opened for Classes 6 to 8 for students in areas other than Bengaluru and districts bordering Kerala. However, parents’ consent is mandatory for students to attend physical classes.

Earlier, the Karnataka government had allowed students of classes 9 and 11 to join their seniors on campus from February 1. The Primary and Secondary Education Department had also suggested that Class 10 board exams or SSLC exams should be held between June 14-25. A decision was also made to continue the Vidyagama scheme to continue for Classes 6-8. The committee will again meet in the coming week to decide if normal classes should resume for junior classes.

Regular classes for 10 and 12 had already begun starting from January 1. Teachers were made to take a COVID-19 test before reporting to take classes in Karnataka. The state government held meetings with the health department about reopening schools for students of lower classes.

Karnataka government had earlier announced that students coming from Kerala to Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar districts must carry a negative COVID-19 test certificate that is not older than 72 hours. This has now been extended to students in Bengaluru as well, and also applies to students living in hostels in Karnataka.