School to reopen in Maharashtra from 4th October

School to reopen in Maharastra from 4th October

The Maharashtra government decided to resume physical classes in schools from 4th October, announced state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, adding that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved the decision.

Gaikwad said that the latest decision was after consulting health officials and the state government's Covid-19 task force.

She added.

Schools will reopen in a phased manner. In rural areas, classes will resume for 5 to 12, and in urban areas, for 8 to 12. The Maharashtra government is making efforts to bring back children to schools. The local authorities have also been giving powers,

Till now, schools were conducting physical classes only in those areas reporting relatively fewer coronavirus cases. Physical classes would not resume yet for 1st to 4th in rural areas and 1st to 7th in the urban area.

The minister added.

"Though schools will reopen in entire state, there is no pressure on students to attend physical class. Consent of parents will be required if they want to attend,"

School to reopen from 7th Ocotober in Maharastra 1getty image

Read More : Schools to reopen in Kerala from 1 November

Over 70% of parents favored the reopening of schools.

As per the survey conducted by the school education department, over 70% of parents favored reopening schools, Gaikwad said.

The state government in July this year had allowed schools to restart physical classes in the rural areas where Covid-19 prevalence was negligible. The decision mainly benefited the Vidarbha region. But schools in major cities such as Mumbai and Pune remained closed.

She said.

"The school education department has given the powers to implement the decision as per local conditions to district collectors. Every school will have to conduct a parent-teacher meeting and apprise parents about precautions as well as the immediate steps to be taken by the school administration,"

As to the residential schools run by the tribal development department, a separate decision will be taken by that ministry, Gaikwad said.

Speaking to reporters in Pune, Minister for Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant said CM Thackeray has sought reports from vice-chancellors of state universities about reopening, and colleges could resume in-person classes after Diwali.

Maharashtra had earlier formed a committee to set guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of schools.

The suggested SOPs include staggered school hours, social distancing inside classrooms, setting up school health clinics, among others. Sanitization of schools, staggered entry of students, wearing masks is among mandatory protocols.

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