New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Schools across Gujarat will open for students of classes 6 to 8 from February 18, over 10 months after being indefinitely shut following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the state government announced on Saturday.  

Announcing the decision, education secretary Vinod Rao said that the classes will reopen with strict adherence to the Centre's COVID-19 norms and the guideline issued by the government of Gujarat. Online classes will continue and physical attendance will not be mandatory, news agency PTI reported. 

Schools and other educational institutions have remained shut in the state since March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic. With daily nationwide tally hovering around 10,000 and board exams on the horizon, several states and Union Territories have either reopened, or announced plans to reopen schools and other educational institutions.  

The state government had reopened classes for students of grades 10 and 12 on January 11 itself in view of the impending board exams. Later on February 1, schools were reopened for students of classes 9 and 11. The final year classes of undergraduate and post-graduate students resumed for January 11, while the first-year college classes resumed from February 8. 

The state government had earlier revoked its decision to reopen the educational institutions from November 23 in the wake of rising coronavirus cases post Diwali. No decision so far has been taken on the resumption of classes for students of grade 1 to 5. The percentage of students of grades 9 to 12 attending classes have gradually increased from 40 per cent to 70 per cent. 

Gujarat has registered as many as 2,64,718 cases of coronavirus, while 4,400 people have succumbed to the infection so far. The daily nationwide COVID-19 caseload has reduced significantly in the past two months.  

Posted By: Lakshay Raja