The October 31 order of the special relief commissioner had authorized the school and mass education department to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of reopening of the schools under the supervision/control/superintendence in respect of classes from 9th to 12th in a graded manner after November 15 in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The department had conducted extensive consultations with various stakeholders and taken their inputs. It took note of the experience of the states where schools had reopened and possible effect of second wave of the Covid-19. Keeping all these issues in mind, the department has directed that all schools in the state will remain closed till December 31.
But some activities will be allowed in schools. These are – conduct of examinations (academic, competitive and entrance tests), evaluation and other administrative activities, online and distance learning. Teaching and non-teaching staff may be called to the schools for online teaching, tele counseling and related work outside the containment zones.
On Thursday, school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash had told that they postponed the proposal of reopening of schools for the time being after chief minister Naveen Patnaik asked everyone to remain alert for the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the state in December.
The CM on Wednesday asked people to be cautious and strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines during Diwali festival and the coming winter months. Following the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19, several European countries have announced fresh lockdowns, which may hit life and livelihood badly, the CM said, alerting people after reviewing the Covid situation in the state.
Schools in Odisha remained closed in the state since mid-March following the outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown online classes were started to continue the studies. However, a large number of students failed to avail online classes due to various reasons like lack of smartphones or unavailability of internet connectivity. So the government thought of reopening schools from November 16 for students of class 9 to 12.