Covid-19: What is Karnataka govt’s proposed ‘school bubble’ for educational institutions?

By: |
August 30, 2021 2:53 PM

The state government will take a final call on the matter following further deliberations with key stakeholders in primary and secondary education.

school covidSchool bubbles physically classify groups of a small number of students. (File)

The Karnataka government’s Covid-19 technical advisory committee has proposed forming a ‘school bubble’ to negate the possibility of the virus spreading among under-18 children attending classes in the state’s schools and pre-university colleges.

School bubbles
School bubbles physically classify groups of a small number of students. Each such bubble will have students who tend to remain together during school hours for the entirety of the academic year.

A technical advisory committee member told The Indian Express that the school bubble concept would help the management at schools easily isolate fewer students in case of an infection. The expert said if a school bubble includes 30 students and one of them is infected, only the other members of the bubble would have to self-isolate and the school would not need to shut. This would allow learning to go on uninterrupted for others.

Significance of school bubbles
Experts feel school bubbles would be more relevant to primary students who have a higher chance of daily peer-to-peer interaction. With school bubbles put in place, the technical advisory committee believes that the risk assessment process to identify a Covid-positive student’s close contacts would also become easier.

The concept
The technical advisory committee has cited the UK as one of the countries that has successfully implemented the school bubble concept. The UK government has relaxed social-distancing measures further for students within a particular bubble. However, all members undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests if one student in the bubble is infected.

Implementation
The committee has submitted a detailed proposal about the concept to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The state government will take a final call on the matter following further deliberations with key stakeholders in primary and secondary education such as parent representatives, teachers, and school management. The technical advisory committee has also recommended implementation of the concept, calling it operationally feasible, across schools in the state.

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