Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar has announced that schools for Class 6 onwards will re-open from January 1, 2021.

Schools in Karnataka have been shut down since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

S Suresh Kumar told media persons, "Vidyagama programme for Classes 6 to 9 to begin from January 1, 2021. However, students will have to get written permission from their parents. Students from class 10 to 12 can attend their regular classes from January 1."

The decision was taken after a meeting chaired by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa which was also attended by health minister K Sudhakar and other officials.

Suresh Kumar said, "All government schools and hostels will be sanitised before January 1. We have entrusted this responsibility to the rural development and urban development departments." 

"In each class, only 15 students will be allowed to ensure social distancing," he added.

Dr K. Sudhakar also informed, "Our technical advisory committee has given a report saying Class 10 and Class 12 students can be allowed to go to their schools and colleges as they will be facing public exams. Students can attend classes twice or thrice a week."

In a tweet, Yediyurappa added that a decision on reopening schools for students of other classes would be taken after reviewing the situation for 15 days.

Degree and engineering colleges in the state were reopened on November 17.