Chennai: Tamil Nadu on Thursday took a U-turn on its decision to reopen schools in the state for classes 9, 10, 11 & 12 in November, saying that “reopening of schools is deferred for now”. This comes in the wake of rising Coronavirus cases in the state. “Re-opening of schools is deferred for now. Order for re-opening of schools for classes 9, 10, 11 & 12 from Nov 16 is withdrawn. Final year students & research scholars will be allowed to attend classes & stay in hostels,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said in a statement. Also Read - Cyclone Nivar: PM Modi Speaks to Tamil Nadu CM, Announces Ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakh From PMNRF

Earlier, schools for classes 9th till 12th were supposed to resume in the state from November 16. Also Read - Cyclone Nivar: 1500 Hectares of Farmland Damaged in TN, CM Says Damage Being Assessed

While colleges were also earlier scheduled to function from November 16 , the government said colleges and varsities shall reopen from December 2 only for research scholars and final year postgraduate students of science and technology streams. Also Read - When Will Schools in Delhi be Reopened? Read What Health Minister Satyendar Jain Has to Say

The opening of colleges for all other courses will be announced later,” the government said in an official release adding hostels would be opened only for those students who shall resume studies from next month.

Disclosing the outcome of state-wide consultations held with parents of private, government and aided schools on November 9 on starting classes for the 2020-21 academic year for higher standards, the government said the opinion was divided.

Parents of some schools wanted the institutions to reopen, but others were against such a move in view of the coronavirus pandemic and the school education department analysed the opnions holistically, the release said.

“The order on reopening schools from November 16 for classes 9-12 is cancelled. An announcement on reopening schools will be made later based on the situation,” the government said based on the feedback received from parents.

As on November 11, a total of 7,50,409 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu out of which 7,20,339 recovered. While 18,655 was the number of active cases, the death toll stood at 11,415.

(With inputs)