Bengaluru, Oct 10: A day after reports of 34 children in Belgavi district testing positive for Covid-19 emerged, the government of Karnataka has decided to stop the ambitious ‘Vidyagama’ scheme, albeit temporarily.
The scheme, a continuous learning plan for children in government and aided schools in the State, was launched by the Education Department around two months ago in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, since its launch, there has been widespread opposition from various quarters. Recently, communities in M. Thimmapur village near Ramdurg complained that 34 students had tested positive for COVID-19 over the past few days. They had alleged that students had contracted the virus while attending classes conducted by teachers in open public spaces as part of the ‘Vidyagama’ scheme.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar announced that the officials of the department had been directed to stop implementing the scheme until a proper analysis of pros and cons is complete. He stated that the scheme was launched for the benefit of children belonging to lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has also been vocal in opposing the scheme. In a series of tweets, he alleged that the State government was risking the lives of both teachers and students.
Concurring, Basavaraj Gurikar, president of Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association, said the scheme should be scrapped. “Nothing is more important than the health of children. The government should focus on health, rather than implement such schemes that only risk the lives of teachers and students,” he said.