Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a series of meetings he convened to decide on reopening schools in the state, Kumar said that the state already has examples like Andhra Pradesh taking decision to reopen schools before it.
“We are still evaluating the pros and cons of this decision. Currently the state has decided to reopen degree and post-graduate colleges from November 17 onwards. We have not decided anything yet. We are only evaluating the possibilities,” he said.
According to Kumar, the officials concerned and experts have favoured reopening of schools in a staggered manner.
“For instance, if the state decides to reopen high schools in the first phase, then Class VIII students can come one day, the next day Class IX students can come followed by Class X students. This cycle may continue,” he said.
He further added that a meeting of all the top officials of the concerned departments and district officials will be held and the situation will be reviewed.
The minister said that following the meeting and after receiving feedback from all the quarters, the same will be discussed with the Chief Minister following which a decision will be taken.
Besides this, the experts have also favoured to reopen residential schools – Moraraji Desai, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Ekalavya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, SC/ST Talented Girls, B.R. Ambedkar, and Indira Gandhi residential schools – which are essentially utilised by the economically weaker sections of the state.
“There are 819 residential schools and colleges for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Backward Class rural students across the state. We can at least reopen them and see the impact and then we can gradually scale up our operations,” an official told IANS.
The official further added that the children will get food three times a day when they stay in the schools. “At their homes, many of them might not have this luxury. Keeping all this in mind, we need to be considerate towards this marginalised section of the society,” the source added.
The minister added that the state would extend full cooperation in effective implementation of NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement), a capacity building programme for improving quality of school education through integrated teacher training.
Kumar also said that it aimed to build competencies among teachers and school principals in the elementary stage. The functionaries would be trained in an integrated manner on learning outcomes, school based assessment, learner-centred pedagogy, new initiatives in education, and addressing diverse needs of children through multiple pedagogies, etc.