Patna | Jagran Education Desk: Amid concerns over the new strain of COVID-19, the Bihar government has decided not to reopen schools for classes 1st to 8th from January 18. The Nitish Kumar-led JDU-BJP government, which has allowed schools for classes 9 to 12 to reopen from January 4, had earlier hinted that junior classes in the state might reopen from January 18.

However, Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar has now said that schools for classes 1st to 8th will not reopen from January 18 and decision in this regard will be taken only after assessing the situation in the state after January 25, reported Dainik Jagran.

While speaking to Dainik Jagran, Kumar said that the state government has assessed the situation in 27 districts so far and found that a large number of students have not resumed their classes amid fears over COVID-19.

Kumar told that parents in Bihar are also afraid of sending their children to schools which is why the state government has decided not to reopen schools for classes 1 to 8 from January 18.

A few days ago, as many as 22 students and three teachers had also tested coronavirus positive at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Kisan High School in Asarganj block of Munger district of Bihar, raising concerns among authorities.

"We have also requested the health department for random testing of students and teachers in the schools. Wherever any case is detected, the schools have to be closed immediately. We want the schools to run, but there will be no leniency in following the Covid protocol," Binodanand Jha, Director, Research and training, Department of Education, said, as reported by Times Now.

All schools across the country were closed after the central government announced a nationwide lockdown in March last year in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed schools and other education institutions from October last year in a graded manner. Though several states, like Bihar, have decided to resume classes, many states and UTs have decided not to reopen schools amid concerns over COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma