Maha School Reopening: Local authorities to take final call
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday announced that schools across the state have been allowed to resume physical classes for pre-primary and classes 1-12 students from January 24. However, local authorities can access the COVID-19 situation and take the final call regarding reopening of schools, the minister said.
“We are committed to safe resumption of schools in the state. The decision has been taken following detailed deliberations with the Hon'ble @CMOMaharashtra, cabinet colleagues,the paediatric task force & education experts. In these areas, the local administration is empowered to assess and take decisions regarding safe resumption of schools,” Ms Gaikwad tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Teachers and parents were of the view that schools should be reopened and online education should continue along with that, the minister said.
“During our continued dialogue with parents & teachers we received consistent feedback about restarting physical classes along with online education for better learning outcomes. During my recent interaction with Collectors/CEOs, a similar view was expressed,” Ms Gaikwad said.
“Consent of parents is important for attendance. Parents are also requested to not send students to school if they are unwell. Schools to ensure isolation facilities in case any student shows symptoms,” the minister added.
On the day when the minister announced reopening of schools, Maharashtra recorded 46,197 fresh coronavirus cases, including 125 Omicron infections, and 37 related deaths. The daily tally was 2,500 more than the previous day when the state had reported 43,697 cases.
Ms Gaikwad said continuous education of children along with their health and safety is a primary concern for the government. To achieve this, schools will ensure strict adherence to SOPs when they reopen.
Students and teachers will wear masks at all times and only one student will sit on a bench. Vaccination drives for older students to be ramped up, the minister added.
The decision has received mixed reactions. While some have welcomed the government’s call to resume classes, some say the state has rushed it.