Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the state, the Odisha government on Friday (November 6) announced that all schools in the state will remain closed till December 31. The government, however, said the online classes can continue as usual.
The Odisha government issued a order saying that the conduct of exams, evaluation and administrative activities are permitted in the state. “Teaching/non-teaching staff may be called to schools for online teaching/telecounselling outside the containment zones,” the order stated.
The Odisha government decided to extend the closure of till December 31 amid apprehensions that a possible second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may hit the country mid-December due to fall in temperature.
Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash informed the media that earlier it was decided that school activities for students of classes 9 to 12 will be allowed to resume in November, but the government decided to extend the closure of schools amid fears of a possible second wave of COVID-19 infection.
He added that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also cautioned about a possible second wave and this is also one of the reasons why the government decided not to put students’ health and wellbeing at risk, he said.
Dash said the Education Ministry is also working out a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reopening the schools and any further decision in this reagrd would be taken after consultations with collectors and district education officers.
It is to be noted that schools are closed in Odisha since March 2020 due to coronavirus outbreak.