New Delhi: The Gujarat government has decided to keep all schools closed and promote students of Classes 1 to 9 and 11 of the state board, as the annual exams this year could not be conducted due to the coronavirus crisis, officials said on Tuesday. The board exams for Classes 10 and 12 were already conducted by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board earlier this month.

However, the exams for other standards could not be conducted as schools were already closed by the government from March 15 to check the spread of coronavirus. The decision to promote the students to higher standards was taken by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, said Ashwani Kumar, secretary in the Chief Minister's Office.

"Since schools were asked to remain shut, the chief minister has decided to mass promote students of Classes 1 to 9 and 11. This was necessary to keep the children safe," Kumar told reporters in Gandhinagar.

The Gujarat government on Monday declared a statewide lockdown till the end of this month.