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62% Parents in Maharashtra Don't Want to Send Kids to School from January 24 Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases: Survey

The Maharashtra government had on January 8 ordered all schools and colleges to shut in state till February 15. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

The Maharashtra government had on January 8 ordered all schools and colleges to shut in state till February 15. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

On January 20, Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad announced that schools for Class 1 to Class 12 will reopen from January 24

Even as Maharashtra government has decided to reopen physical schools from January 24, a survey of around 5,000 parents in the state shows that 62% parents are not ready to send their children to school amid surge in Covid-19 cases. 67% of the respondents in the survey by community social media platform LocalCircles were men while 33% respondents were women.

Maharashtra on Friday reported 48,270 COVID cases from 2,05,938 tests conducted and there were 37 related deaths. Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the state continues to remain high at 23.4%, the survey said, adding with children under the age of 15 years being unvaccinated and 15-18 age group only partially vaccinated and the highly transmissible nature of Omicron, many parents are concerned about sending children for in-person school. In the community discussions, many of them have highlighted long-term implications of COVID and the need for in-person schools to only start when TPR falls to 5 per cent or lower, it stated.

The Maharashtra government had on January 8 ordered all schools and colleges to shut in state till February 15 to contain the spread of the Omicron-led third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on January 20, state education minister Varsha Gaikwad announced that schools in the state for Class 1 to Class 12 will reopen from January 24. While the BMC has allowed schools to reopen in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has allowed local bodies to take the decision on reopening schools after assessing the COVID-19 situation in their respective areas.

62% PARENTS UNWILLING TO SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL FROM JANUARY 24

The first question in the survey asked citizens, “As the Government opens in-person schools across Maharashtra from January 24, do you plan to send your children or grandchildren to school?”

(Image: LocalCircles)
(Image: LocalCircles)

In response, the majority of 62% of parents of school chidren in Maharashtra said “No”, indicting that they are unwilling to send their children to school from January 24. However, 11% of citizens said, “Yes, will send from January 24” and 16% said “Already sending our children.” 11% did not have an opinion. This question in the survey received 4,976 responses.

In summary, 62% of parents of school-going children surveyed in Maharashtra are unwilling to send their children to school from Jan 24th amidst a surge of COVID cases and high test positivity rate between 20-25% in the state.

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