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School Opening Decision Later

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday disapproved statements made by different departments on the reopening of schools and colleges in Odisha which remained closed since Mid-March in wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak.

Mr.Patnaik while reviewing the prevailing corona situation said that the State Government will take appropriate decision in regard to re-opening of schools and colleges after taking into consideration of different factors associated with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

CM Mr.Patnaik’s statement in this regard came hours of School and Mass Education department and Higher Education department indicating that the schools and colleges are likely to reopen in January.

The CMO released the statement after Mr.Patnaik undertook the weekly review of the pandemic situation in the state.

Earlier in the day, S&ME Minister Samir Ranjan Dash had told the Media that the schools across the state are likely to reopen from the New Year. “Schools may reopen from January. However, priority will be given to reopen classes for Class 10 and 12 students in the first phase,” the Minister said.

The Minister also added that the classes will be held on Saturdays and Sundays except festival holidays in order to complete class room teaching of course.

He said the examinations will be held after conduct of physical classes for at least 100 days. Around 6 lakhs students will appear in the annual Board examinations, the Minister said adding that each student will be provided with a question bank for preparation of the Annual Board exams.

Higher Education Department Secretary Saswat Mishra said colleges and universities across the state may reopen in the New Year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are hopeful that college students will be able attend classes from the New Year. However, semester exams of UG and PG students are likely to be postponed as classroom teachings have not started yet. The exams will be held after conduct of physical classes for at least 70 to 80 days,” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Government on Thursday announced a tentative schedule for the conduct of MBBS examinations in seven universities for the academic year 2021-22.

In a letter to the Controllers of Examination of different varsities, the Higher Education Department said that the state government has approved the guidelines of the National Medical Commission (NMC) which shall be followed to ensure timely examinations for MBBS students admitted to different institutions.