Maharashtra government will decide on the reopening of schools in the state in the next 10-15 days after there have been demands from “certain quarters”, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said. Since the rate of Covid-19 cases among students has been less and students are suffering from learning losses, a decision will be taken soon, added Tope. The final decision, however, will be taken by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Schools in Maharashtra have been shut till February 15 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. “Demands are rising from certain quarters for reopening of schools as children are suffering the education loss. We will consider it after 10-15 days as there is a low (rate of) infection among children. The chief minister will take the final call in this regard,” Tope told PTI.
The state government had reopened schools in Mumbai on December 15 and on December 16 in Pune. The physical classes had to be discontinued later due to the increasing Covid-19 cases and the threat of Omicron. Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad had earlier said that if the number of cases rises up, schools will be closed. “If Omicron cases continue to rise, we may take a call to shut schools again. We are monitoring the situation,” she had said.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has announced that the SSC and HSC board exams will begin on March 15 and will be concluded on April 18. It will be held in offline mode. The board had reduced the syllabus by 25 per cent for both classes. The practical exams will be held from February 14 to March 3 for HSC and February 25 to March 14 for SSC students.
Students of MSBSHSE classes 10 and 12 had been demanding postponement of the exams after Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad tested positive for Covid-19. The students asked the minister to cancel the exams stating that if the minister can test positive, then the students too can be affected.