Reopening of Gujarat schools postponed, night curfew in Ahmedabad

Taking a U-turn, the Gujarat government has decided against reopening of high and higher secondary schools, colleges and universities in the state in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the western state.

The government also decided to impose night curfew in the state’s financial capital Ahmedabad from 9 pm to 6 am.

The state government said on Thursday night that its earlier decision to reopen schools and colleges had been “postponed”. There has been significant rise in positive cases, especially in Ahmedabad, since Diwali festivities.

The government had on November 11 decided to reopen schools, colleges and universities from November 23 after holding discussions with education and health officials. The educational institutions were directed to continue studies on their respective premises by strictly following Standard Operating Protocol on COVID-19 issued by the central government.

“In the first stage, in colleges and universities, classes for postgraduate, medical and paramedical students will resume. Moreover, classes of only final-year undergraduate students will resume. In engineering courses also, final-year students will be asked to come to attend classes. Similarly, ITIs and polytechnics will also be reopened. The online classes will also be continued by educational institutions in the state,” Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama had told the media.

However, there was no decision on reopening of primary schools. The government had said that it would analyse the feedback on implementation of November 11 decision and then decide.

The government move received a lot of flak from the public, especially parents, since many other states had also reopened schools and colleges but ordered their shutdown due to rising number of coronavirus infections among schoolchildren.