Bhopal: Regular classes for students of classes 10th and 12th in Madhya Pradesh will resume from December 18th, the state School Education Department said on Monday. The decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting of the school education department on Monday.

School Education Minister Inder Singh Parmar said that the decision to reopen schools for Class 10 and 12 students has been taken keeping in view the upcoming board examinations.

"The decision of reopening of schools for class 10 and 12 has been taken to help the students in the preparation for the board exams. The department has asked schools administrations to follow the Covid-19 guidelines, including proper sanitization, use of masks and maintaining social distancing," said state school education minister Inder Singh Parmar.

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier announced that schools for Classes 1 to 8 in the state will remain shut till March 31, 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

School associations, which have been pressuring the government to reopen schools, now hope that it will allow reopening of classes 5-8 in January. They had threatened to suspend online classes and stage a dharna in front of CM House unless the government agreed to reopen Classes 9-12.

Principals of the schools have been entrusted with taking decisions on starting regular classes for students of classes 9 and 11 considering numbers of students in the class and space available for them. Principals will have to ensure the strict implementation of Standard Operating Procedures related to Covid-19 guidelines.

Higher Education Minister Mohan Yadav on December 14 said that colleges will reopen from January 1, for science students, with 50% attendance, following COVID-19 guidelines.

Classes for Undergraduate and Postgraduate final year classes will resume on January 10.