School, colleges to remain shut in Bihar, other states amid Covid-19 spike
Bihar on Saturday became the latest state to order all schools, colleges and other educational institutions to shut down amid a severe increase in the cases of the coronavirus disease. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions across the country were shut down in March last year when the coronavirus pandemic first broke out in the country. Some reopened later, however, the recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases has forced several state governments to close down their schools and educational institutions.
Here is a look at states which have shut schools and other educational institutes:
Bihar: All schools, colleges and other educational institutions, which were to reopen on April 5, have been ordered to remain closed till April 11. All institutions have been directed to reschedule tests and examinations accordingly, the state’s home department said in a release. The decision was taken by the crisis management group of the state government after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted officials at a high-level meeting to consider the chance of closing schools and colleges.
Maharashtra: Authorities in several districts in Maharashtra have asked all government and private schools, colleges, and hostels to remain closed till further notice amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Students from Class 1 to Class 8 in Maharashtra will be promoted to the next class without any examination, state school education minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Saturday. A decision regarding students of Classes 9 and 11 will soon be taken, she said.
Gujarat: School for Classes 1 to 10 were directed to be shut for an indefinite period in Gujarat from Monday. However, classroom teaching for Class 10 and 12 as well as colleges would continue, according to the decision taken at a meeting chaired by chief minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday. “All offline classes of standard 1 to 9 in government and private schools will be closed down for an indefinite period from Monday. Online education will be encouraged. The decision was taken keeping in mind the safety of students when COVID-19 cases have surged in the state," a release from the CM's office said, according to news agency PTI.
Himachal Pradesh: All education institutes, including schools, colleges and universities will remain closed till April 15 in Himachal Pradesh, the government said amid the rising cases of Covid-19. Students of classes with scheduled examinations in the near future can visit schools and educational institutes to clear any doubts with the written consent of the parents and guardian, an official release said according to ANI. All coaching centres preparing students for competitive exams and nursing, medical and dental colleges will remain open and ensure observance of the Covid-19 SOPs issued by the government from time to time, it said. "Schools and institutions having residential facilities need not close their hostel facilities but must observe SOPs issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India for Covid-19 prevention and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour," the release added.
Delhi: The Delhi government has issued an order asking schools to not hold physical classes for the new academic session till further orders. Director of education Udit Prakash Rai said classes for the new session will continue online till further orders. Students of classes 9,10, 11, 12 of the previous session may be called to the schools if their project work and internal assessment are due. But for that, strict adherence to Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure and the consent of the parents will be required. "Heads of all government, government-aided, and recognised un-aided schools are hereby directed to comply with the above instructions and disseminate this information to all teachers, students and parents through SMC/Mass SMS facility/phone calls etc," the order said.
Karnataka: Karnataka's chief secretary P Ravi Kumar on Friday issued an order to shut down boarding and residential hostels for primary and secondary schools and optional attendance for students of Classes 10, 11 and 12. Physical classes for classes six to nine will also be suspended, Kumar said in his order. “Classes 10, 11 and 12th can continue in the existing mode. However, attendance to these classes in person is not mandatory,” he said. Classes for higher and professional courses have been suspended except those due for board or university examinations and of health sciences.
Uttar Pradesh: The state government has extended the closure of all schools for students up to Class 8 to April 11, amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Earlier, the government had shut schools for students up to Class 8 till March 31. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the closure of schools for students up to Class 8 till April 11, an official spokesperson said, adding that authorities have been ordered to ensure all Covid-19 protocols are followed for other classes. During this period, teachers will continue to go to schools for administrative work while education activities will not be there, the chief minister said.
Punjab: The Punjab government has ordered that schools and colleges in the state will remain shut till April 10, 2021. Earlier, it ordered the schools and colleges in the state to close down till March 31. Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered an extension of all the restrictions put in place in the state on March 17. This order is applicable for all private, government and aided schools as well as coaching classes, polytechnic institutes and degree colleges and universities.
Chhattisgarh: Schools and colleges in Chhattisgarh were ordered to be shut down on March 22. The government is yet to announce the date for the reopening of these educational institutes.
Tamil Nadu: The Tamil Nadu government also asked schools, colleges to remain shut from March 22. The date for resumption of educational institutes has not been issued by the state government yet.
Rajasthan: Schools in Rajasthan have been asked to close for the students from Class 1 to 5 until further notice and the government has left the decision for those from class 6 and above with the district administration.
Madhya Pradesh: The government has announced schools in the state will remain closed for the students from Class 1 to 8 until April 15, 2021. Classes for students of Class 9 to 12 will be conducted offline from April 1, 2021, with the consent of the parents.
(With agency inputs)