The Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools, a collective of private schools in Karnataka, wrote to the state government on Monday asking it to allow the reopening of schools for students in classes 9 to 12. The letter, addressed to Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, included suggestions on measures that schools can take to ensure everyone’s safety.
"9-12th standard should be permitted to function, looking at the seriousness of pandemic spread," read one of the suggestions by the collective.
Another proposed measure was that only three hours of classes should be allowed for the first month with no lunch or snacks allowed.
"Compulsory SOP (standard operating procedures) are to be maintained and daily checking and reading of temperature of every child and teacher to be maintained at all public and private schools," read the letter.
It also mentioned that no mass gatherings, including prayers, should be conducted and regular sanitisation of the school campus must be done.
The letter also highlighted the questions that the state government needs to prepare itself for. "If any teacher/ staff/ non-teaching staff/ student is suspected COVID-19, either symptoms or primary contact, what education institutes should do?", the letter asked.
In the letter, it was also requested that the state government think of measures to quarantine students and teachers in the event of COVID-19 cases.
The Karnataka Health Department and the Education Department held a joint meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of reopening schools in the state. At the end of the meeting, Health Minister B Sriramalu said that the health department would submit a report which lists their recommendations on the issue of reopening schools.
Sources in the education department told TNM that schools in the state may remain closed until the end of the month before a decision is taken on reopening them in a phased manner. The decision will be confirmed only after the health department submits its list of recommendations.