The Karnataka government Tuesday decided to resume the Vidyagama programme in a revised format with classes scheduled to be held on campuses also involving aided and unaided (private) schools apart from government schools in the city.
Announcing the same, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said students will be divided into smaller groups of 15 to 20 considering the number of teachers and classrooms available in each school. “Students will be allowed to come to schools for half a day with parental consent. Following Covid-19 guidelines including wearing a mask, sanitising hands frequently, and being subjected to thermal scanning will be followed at all schools. Any student with fever, cough, cold and other symptoms of Covid-19 will not be allowed,” Kumar explained.
Further, he added that students will be advised to bring drinking water from home. Arrangements to wash hands with soap and sanitiser should also be made at schools before allowing the students in. Timetables will be set with three classes of 45 minutes each.
As per the schedule released by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, students of class 10 will have classes from 10 am to 12.30 pm on weekdays, and from 8.30 am to 11.15 am on Saturdays. Meanwhile, students in classes 9 and 8 will have classes from 2 pm to 4.30 pm on alternate days in batches. “Students attending the sessions will be divided into eight groups for eight different subjects,” an official added.
Meanwhile, classes for students in standard 1 to 7 are planned to be held on alternate days with a timetable between 10 am and 12.30 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 11.15 am on Saturdays. While schools engaging students till class 5 have been asked to bifurcate students from classes 1 to 3 and 4 to 5 on alternate days, the same for those with students up to class 8 will be asked to split sessions for classes 1 to 5 and 6 to 8 on alternate days, a circular with the schedule mentioned.
However, Minister Suresh Kumar clarified that the relaunch of Vidyagama “does not mean schools are being reopened.” He highlighted, “Such small sessions are made available for students to ensure that we reach out to children from all sections from across the state.”
Earlier in August, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education had launched Vidyagama programme to reach out to students of government schools by taking classes at doorsteps of the children’s houses at their villages.
Under this programme then, teachers were asked to meet the children at playgrounds or temples near the students’ residences and engage them in academic activities. However, the programme was suspended in October after Covid-19 cases were reported among students and teachers involved in classes under the initiative.