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Maharashtra Allows In-Person Classes, Mumbai Schools to Reopen, Pune & Aurangabad to Stay Shut

As Maharashtra allows reopening, not all regions on-board (Representational Image)

As Maharashtra allows reopening, not all regions on-board (Representational Image)

Even as Maharashtra has allowed the reopening of schools from January 24, not all regions are on-board. State has adopted a decentralised approach where local authorities can take call on when to reopen schools.

As the Maharashtra government allows schools to reopen from January 24, not all regions in the state are on-board. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allowed all schools in Mumbai to reopen physical classes for classes 1 to 12 starting Monday, January 24. Pune and Aurangabad have decided to keep the schools shut amid the rising cases of Omicron – the new Covid-19 variant.

In its decision, the Maharashtra government has taken a decentralised approach, it has allowed the local bodies to take decisions regarding the reopening of schools based on the Covid-19 condition in their areas.

Maharashtra had in January first week announced the closure of schools till mid-February due to a spike in the coronavirus cases and in the wake of the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant. A section of parents, however, wrote to the Chief Minister highlighting learning losses faced by the students and demanded to reopen the schools.

Based on the requests, the state education department had submitted a report making cases for why schools should be allowed to reopen. The cabinet headed by the chief minister has accepted the proposal today and allowed regional bodies to take calls. No centralised shutdown orders from the state government.

For regions where schools will remain shut, classes will still continue online. For schools were in-person classes will begin, no child will be forced to attend physical classes. Schools will resume physical classes amid strict Covid-19 precautions. The Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad is likely to release detailed guidelines on school reopening on January 21.

Meanwhile, MSBSHSE will hold board exams in offline mode, as per the latest updates. The SSC exams will begin from March 15 and HSC board exams will March 4 and continue till March 30. Students have been demanding the cancellation of board exams due to the rising covid-19 cases. Last year too, MSBSHSE had cancelled board exams and announced results based on an alternative mode. The demand for cancellation rose when the state education minister had contracted the virus.

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first published:January 20, 2022, 20:16 IST