Odisha may not reopen schools in November as it errs on the side of caution

Odisha may not reopen schools in November as it errs on the side of caution
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen PatnaikBCCL
Apprehensive that a possible second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may hit the country mid- December, the Odisha government on Friday announced that it has put on hold its decision to reopen schools this month. Odisha's School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said the state had earlier decided to resume school activities for students of classes 9 to 12 in November, but fears of a possible second wave of infections made the government reconsider its plan.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently cautioned about a possible second wave, and the department, going by his advice, has decided not to put students' health and wellbeing at risk, he said.

Dash said the department had already worked out a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reopening the schools, but the pandemic situation does not favour campus activities.

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The minister said that any further decision on the matter would be taken after consultations with collectors and district education officers.

Students, as of now, will continue to receive lessons online, Dash stated.

The state government, as part its Unlock 6.0 guidelines, had said schools would be allowed to resume activities after November 15 for students of Classes 9 to 12, in a graded manner.

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The move to reverse the decision came after it was found that hundreds of students and teachers in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where classes for senior school students began on November 2, have contracted the viral disease.

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