The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has decided to close all schools for students up to class 8 from March 24 till March 31 in the wake of steadily rising coronavirus cases in the state.
The decision was taken by the UP administration after reviewing the COVID situation. Meanwhile, all other educational institutions where exams are not underway will remain shut from March 25 to March 31, according to the state government.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting of UP Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath with other state officials. Several states have ordered the closure of schools and colleges after witnessing a spike in coronavirus daily cases.
The Yogi Adityanath government had issued guidelines in February for reopening of schools in UP for classes 6 to 8 from February and from March 1 for students of classes 1 to 5. The classes were being taken only twice a week with 50 per cent of the students permitted to attend them, according to the Basic Education Department in the state. Students were also being given mid-day meals while ensuring preventive measures in schools.
"It will be mandatory for all schools to get a written consent letter from parents to send their students for attending classes. Parents will also give complete information about the health status of students and about their national and international travel if any," read the guidelines issued by the state government. Students were also given the option to study online if they wanted to study from home.
As things stand, UP has 3,036 active COVID-19 cases, 8,759 deaths, and 5,95,743 recoveries from the disease, as per the Union Health Ministry. UP witnessed a single-day spike of more than 500 coronavirus cases (542) on Monday, March 22, taking the state's tally to 608,076. One death in Kanpur pushed UP's death toll to 8,760.