A few states decided to open up educational institutions following a plunge in fresh and active Covid-19 infections in September. Schools in Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, etc., have opened up in strict compliance with covid protocols. Educational institutions in many states have been functioning smoothly after reopening with no indication of students contracting the virus. However, Sikkim schools witnessed a surge in infections among students within a week of opening. Hence, the state government on Saturday decided to shut down all educational institutions in Sikkim.
Schools and colleges across the state opened up for grade 9 and above on 9th September. However, as at least five students contracted the virus in different schools, they decided to close down offline classes once again. G.P. Upadhyay, state Education Secretary, assured that the institutions had been operating on 50 percent staff and the students had been allowed to attend physical classes only after obtaining consent from parents.
Infections among students were reported from government schools in Namthang (South Sikkim), Rhenock (East Sikkim), Yuksom (West Sikkim) and from a private school in North Sikkim. “The state government is worried that if the schools were not closed, the chances of more cases coming are high,” the state Education Minister said. “All primary contacts of the infected students are being traced. This is a state-wide trend and we do not want to take chances with the health of the students, which is why the state has decided to close all schools and colleges,” he further added in a statement to PTI.
As per the reports, Sikkim schools will be staying shut and continuing with online classes till October 31. Meanwhile, in Delhi, government schools have been witnessing an upbeat attendance while private schools have reported a lukewarm attendance.
Fresh cases in Sikkim schools have brought disappointment to many students who will have to wait longer for offline classes.