New Delhi: The Sikkim government, which has not reported any COVID-19 case, has announced that schools and other educational institutes in the state will reopen on June 15. Education Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha said the decision was taken by taking into account the importance of higher classes and board exams. Also Read - Only 7-day Hotel Quarantine For Foreign Returnees, They Can’t be Charged For 14 Days, MHA Writes to States

Both government and private schools will resume for classes 9 to 12 by complying the government’s guidelines regarding COVID-19. However, nursery to class 8 will remain suspended until further order, the education minister said. Also Read - Passenger on Chennai-Coimbatore IndiGo Flight Tests Positive For COVID-19, Crew Members Grounded For 14 Days

Online education will continue as usual in Sikkim, Lepcha said, adding that the daily assembly of schools will be suspended for this academic session. Also Read - WHO Warns of COVID-19 'Second Peak' as Lockdowns Ease

The minister said education is of paramount importance and it should not be hampered at any cost and for that purpose his department is trying to reach out to students within and outside the state.

On the opening of colleges and universities, Lepcha said that classes will be held in two shifts by duly adhering to social distancing and other guidelines.

The annual examinations will be postponed to February 2021 so that the focus is more on studies, he said.

Schools will remain open on all Saturdays as well, he added.

Additional Chief Secretary, Education, GP Upadhayaya said that the district administrations will be asked to hand over the schools that have been converted into quarantine centres after duly disinfecting and sanitising them before June 10.

Director, Primary Education, Bhim Thatal said students who live in areas falling in West Bengal near the inter-state borders and are studying in Sikkim will be advised to make an arrangement to stay in Sikkim after completing the quarantine period as prescribed by health department so that they could attend classes when it starts.