BENGALURU: Schools in Karnataka re-opened for students of classes 1 to 5 from Monday, strictly adhering to COVID-19 related precautions and guidelines.
However, several private schools in the city and in different places across the state, have decided to reopen schools for these students only after Deepavali, official sources said.
Several schools had made special arrangements by decorating premises and classrooms to welcome students.
"I'm happy to come back to school.
I had missed meeting friends, as I could rarely come out of home and there was no school.
All these days I used to see teachers teaching on mobile or laptop, now I can see directly," a student of class 4 said with joy.
A teacher said the schools has made all the necessary arrangements by following the SOPs issued by the government, and felt happy welcoming children back.
With COVID-19 cases declining, Karnataka government in consultation with COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on October 18 had decided to permit re-opening of schools for students of classes 1 to 5 from October 25, by strictly adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and SOPs issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education.
Parental consent letter for physical classes is mandatory.
The government has laid down certain rules such as screening for COVID-19 symptoms on entry, 50 per cent of the capacity in a classroom, provision of hand sanitizers, physical distancing of a minimum of one meter as practically feasible, no crowding, particularly at school entry and exit, and disinfecting classrooms and restrooms daily using 1 percent sodium hypochlorite solution.
Only teachers and staff who have been vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be allowed in classes 1 to 5, it had said, there shall be additional use of face shield by teachers who are over 50 years of age.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh recently said classes will be held for half a day during the first week and had asked parents to send children to school without any fear.
The government had reopened schools for students of classes 6 to 8 from September 6 and for students of classes 9 to 12 from August 23.