Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has stated that the schools from classes 1-8 will remain closed till March 31, 2021, in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

He further said that the students will not appear for any test this academic year, and they will be graded on the basis of their project work.

“There will be no regular classes for the students of Classes 1 to 8 in the state till March 31, 2021. No test would be conducted for students of Classes 1 to 8 and they will be evaluated on the basis of the project work,” Chouhan was quoted as saying in a press release.

Chouhan also said that classes 10 and 12 will resume shortly for the board exams, with social distancing, and other COVID-19 norms being followed.  

The chief minister said that students of Classes 9 and 11 will be asked to come to schools once or twice a week.

Meanwhile, the  Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which holds ISC and ICSE board exams, has written to Chief Ministers of all states to allow schools to reopen partially for students of Classes 10 and 12 from January 4, 2021.

It reasoned that students should be able to participate in project works, practical works, SUPW and doubt-clearing sessions ahead of their board exams in 2021. In a statement, the Council said if schools are allowed to reopen from the said date, they will follow all COVID-related protocol prescribed by the government.

‘With the students physically attending school, this time will be utilised for practical work, project work, SUPW work and for ‘doubt clearing’ lessons,’ says a statement issued by CISCE chief executive and secretary, Gerry Arathoon.

The Home ministry unlock guidelines have left the states to decide on reopening of schools and there is no consensus among them on when to do so. Some states reopened schools in November but some shut them again following spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Notably, schools across India have been shut since March 2020 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many states have resumed schools partially but have encouraged online mode of learning.

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