Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on August 26 that all educational institutions in the state will remain closed till the end of Durga Puja vacation in view of the prevailing pandemic situation.
The announcement was made by Patnaik after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the state.
Keeping in view the concerns expressed by students and parents, it has been decided to close schools and colleges till the end of Durga Puja holidays, Patnaik said in a statement.
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The five-day Durga Puja festival will celebrated from October 22 to October 26.
The Chief Minister said the decision has been taken to allay fears and apprehension in the minds of students and their guardians about the prevailing situation.
Educational institutions across the state have been closed since March 17, two days after the first coronavirus case was reported in the state, an official said.
Officials in the health and family welfare department said that as per a projection in the background of the prevailing situation, the state's infection load is likely to touch 1.02 lakh with the number of active cases reaching 32,212 by August-end.
Earlier in the day, the School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash had said the state government will take a decision with regard to reopening of schools after the Centre releases guidelines for September.
He said the government has meanwhile started online classes for students and conceded that 22 lakh of the total 60 lakh students in government and government-aided schools can avail of the facility due to lack of proper internet connections.
The higher education department has started online classes for college and university students, an official said.