All schools across Uttar Pradesh have been ordered to remain shut till February 15, 2022. This decision by the state government comes a few days after the government ordered to keep the schools shut till January 30, 2021. Nevertheless, the extension in date is mainly due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in the state and also the constant threat of the Omicron variant.
The extension in the date for keeping the schools closed has been issued by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi. Despite the closure of physical classes, online classes will continue in the schools and educational institutions considering the imminent board examinations in the state. On Thursday, the state reported 10,937 COVID-19 cases with 23 deaths. This has taken the total active caseload to 80,342. At this point, only 1.5% of the total infected persons have been taken to hospitals.
Furthermore, the schools have been ordered to organize vaccination camps for the 15 to 18 age group. The students are required to visit their respective schools at the stipulated time to get the vaccine shots. Overall, the active cases in the state have started to show a declining trend. The decision to keep the schools shut for an extended period of time is to contain the spread of the virus.
On the other hand, the neighbouring state Haryana is all set to reopen the schools from classes 10 to 12 from February 01, 2022, onwards. This declaration has been given by the Haryana Education minister Kanwar Pal on January 25, 2022. Prior to this decision, the minister had already stated that the schools and colleges would be closed till January 26, 2022. However, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has already mandated that pupils between the ages of 15 to 18 who are not vaccinated are not going to be allowed into the schools.
The vaccination process for this age group has already started on January 03, 2022, and over 15 lakh students were supposed to get inoculated. A decision is yet to be taken regarding the students from classes 1 to 9. According to the Education Minister, a call in this regard will be taken after February 15, 2022. He also stated that almost 75% of the school-going children have already taken the first dose of the vaccine and so the risk factor becomes quite low. Despite that, the students from classes 10 to 12 have also been provided with the optional facility of attending the classes online.