The Karnataka government on Sunday issued a circular directing schools to remain shut till the end of September in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, even though the Centre has allowed reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12.
Many schools in the state had geared up to conduct the academic year offline, but the growing number of Covid-19 cases has made the government wary. On Sunday, the state recorded 8,191 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 98,043.
Some private schools have condemned the move and called the U-turn by the government a conspiracy.
"We have spent thousands of rupees in sanitizing the school buildings and calling-in teachers and asking parents to give their consent letters, but at the last minute -- in order to attract students and parents to the Vidyagama scheme and push private candidates to take admission in government schools -- they have issued this circular," said D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Association of Private School Managements.
Earlier in August, the state government launched the Vidyagama scheme, aimed at taking school education to the doorsteps of children in villages as physical classes are no longer being conducted. As per the scheme, teachers can engage students gathered at a selected point close to their homes, preferably an open space, in academic activities.
"We demand the education minister to stop the Vidyagama scheme. Government school students are under threat of Covid-19. Students in government schools are in as much threat as private schools, so why should vidyagama continue?" Kumar questioned.