New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: The Himachal Pradesh Government on Saturday announced the closure of schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the state till April 15, 2021. However, the government in its order said that the teachers and non-teaching staff will continue to attend their respective institutions. 

"All educational institutions, schools/colleges/universities/institutions will remain closed up to 15th April. All teaching/non-teaching staff will however continue to attend their respective institutions": Government of Himachal Pradesh said in a circular. 

The government's order further stated that the students having exams in near future can visit their schools for doubt clearing session. However, the students visiting the schools have to carry a consent form from their parents allowing them to enter school premises. Meanwhile, all coaching centres providing classes for competitive exams and nursing, medical and dental colleges will remain open. 

"Students of classes having their scheduled exams in near future can visit school/educational institute to clear doubts with the written consent of parents/guardian. All coaching centres to prepare for competitive exams & nursing/medical/dental colleges will remain open", the order further stated. 

The government also directed the schools and educational institutions having residential facilities to keep their hostel facility open but asked them to strictly adhere to the SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. The order also stated that those institutions which are earmarked as exam centres should be properly sanitised before and after the exam. 

"Schools/Institutions having residential facilities need not close hostel facilities but must observe SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health for COVID-19. Educational institutions earmarked as exam centres shall be properly sanitized prior to being used as exam centres", the order said. 

Earlier the state government has ordered the closure of educational institutions till April 4. This has now been extended till April 15. The decision was taken after reviewing the situation of the pandemic in the state. In other states including Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana among others too, the second wave of school shutdowns has been announced.

Himachal reported a total of 64,420 covid-19 cases so far. Active cases have jumped from 200 on February 25 to 3,338 on April 4. The state recorded a total of 406 fresh cases on Friday and 4 deaths. The total death toll has reached 1,043 in Himachal Pradesh.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan