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‘Only 55% attendance’ as Karnataka schools reopen for classes 6-8

Parents who have been regularly paying school fees during the lockdown have sent their kids for physical classes while those who have backlogs prefer online classes, said a representative of private schools.

As Karnataka schools reopened for students of classes 6-8 on Monday after the Covid-induced break, the attendance was only 55 per cent, said Shashi Kumar, the general secretary of the Associated Management of Private Schools in Karnataka. Most private schools are continuing with online classes even now considering the safety of the students and faculty.

“The attendance is not great when compared with classes 9 and 10. Hopefully, it will increase. One important thing was that parents who have been regularly paying school fees during the lockdown have sent their kids for physical classes while those who have backlogs are preferring online classes,” Shashi Kumar said.

Several private schools in Bengaluru have decided to reopen the schools in a phased manner. “While we are very excited to welcome back our students of classes 6 to 8, we will begin in a methodical way with shortened days considering the health and safety of all. We have started with class 7 from today and classes 6 and 8 will be back on campus in the coming week ” said Shweta Sastri, managing director, Canadian International School.

“We are starting slowly to help students learn the necessary habits of social distancing and wearing masks at all times. We now look forward to the decision to bring younger students from classes 1 to 5 back to schools too,” she said.

Niru Agarwal, a trustee of Greenwood High International School, stated that they would welcome the students after the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. “While we are delighted to welcome our students from classes 6 to 8 to the campus, we will open for them in a phased manner from next week considering the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival. We support the government in this initiative as classroom learning is very important for children. The need to reopen is very real and felt by students, parents, and teachers worldwide,” Agarwal said.

“What we need right now are clear SOPs that can ensure a smooth reopening of schools making it a wholesome experience for the students while building trust among parents,” she added.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh said that the government wanted to reopen the schools for some time but the concern of students’ health had restrained them. “We are reopening schools after taking approval from the state’s technical advisory committee on Covid-19,” he said.

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