To date, the local administrations were declaring closure of educational institutions, including hostels and coaching institutes, as and when the cumulative number of positive cases touched the 300-mark in the respective districts. Superseding all previous orders, the state education department ordered closure of all kinds of educational institutions up to the university level. But the official works of the educational institutions will be guided by the latest directives issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
“From today, all educational institutions will remain closed till an indefinite period. Whether a district has touched 300 cases or not, every institution will have to be closed in the backdrop of the direction by the state government to close shops, commercial establishments, etc., from 2 pm everyday starting today,” said education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
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An official notification by the state secondary education department on Wednesday stated that the directive will be implemented in both government and private institutions — starting from pre-primary section to university level — from Thursday (May 6) until further orders. It, however, instructed the institutions that an online mode of education should be made available for students.
All educational institutions, including the coaching institutes and hostels in Guwahati were closed on Tuesday last week, soon after the daily number of positive cases crossed the 1,000-mark in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district. Apart from the academic institutions in the city, those in 23 other districts were also closed by Wednesday, as these districts crossed 300 positive cases in the last 10 days. Barring some districts, mostly comprising rural areas, the educational institutions were already closed in the rest of the districts.
Assam Class X and XII state board exams were postponed on Tuesday, until further orders. The exams were scheduled from May 11, however, the boards were in a dilemma on conducting the exams due to closure of the institutions in the districts.
“The virus doesn’t understand age group. In Assam, the elementary students were at home but in higher classes, students were coming out of homes in many districts for classes, risking their lives. It was illogical when the government was appealing to people to stay at home. We are happy that the decision has been taken, though late,” Gobinda Kalita, general secretary of the Asom Madhyamik Sikshak Aru Karmachari Santha, said.