Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: In view of the Odisha bandh call given by State Congress party, the School and Mass Education Department has announced closure of the schools in the State on Monday.

Informing about the decision, State SME Minister Samir Dash said, “Schools in Odisha will remain closed for the next two days – February 15 and 16”.

He further added that while schools will remain closed on Monday owing to the six-hour bandh call given by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), there will be no classes on Tuesday also on account of Saraswati Puja.

"The classes for Standard IX begin from 8.30 AM and Standard X from 11.30 AM, respectively. Since the schooling hours clashed with the bandh timing (7 AM – 1 PM), keeping in view the safety of the students, the government has decided to declare a holiday on Monday," informed Dash.

This closure comes at a time when the classes for students of classes 10 and 12 started only on Jan 8 after a 9-month hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Moreover, the classes for standard 9 and 11 had started only from February 8, amid strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols issued by the SME department.

It needs mentioning here that OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik on February 9 had called for a state-wide shutdown to protest against the rising prices of petro fuels. He blamed the abnormal rise in petro prices during the last one month on the BJP government at Centre and ruling BJD in State.