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Maharashtra Likely to Take Call on Reopening School After Review Meeting Tomorrow

Maharashtra govt to relook at school reopening decision on Thursday (Representational Image)

Maharashtra govt to relook at school reopening decision on Thursday (Representational Image)

Maharashtra school reopening decision likely to be relooked at on Thursday's meeting.

Maharashtra government is likely to take a call on reopening schools across the state in the next cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday. While the schools were shut till February 15, however, after demands from a section of parents and students to allow in-person classes, the state is likely to review its decision again.

A section of parents and school associations had filed petitioned to reopen schools citing learning losses among children. A parent association of Mumbai had written a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking the reopening of schools. The CM is now likely to discuss the matter further with the cabinet.

Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said that the state government will reconsider the decision of opening schools in about 10-15 days. He had also said that since the rate of infection among children was low hence schools can be reopened with precaution. The Chief Minister will take the final call in this regard.

Parents claim that with vaccination for teens available, schools should reopen. Kids have been confirmed to homes since mid-March 2020 and schools have only been open for a limited time since then on and off basis due to different waves of the coronavirus. In the letter, they asked, if offices and malls could reopen then why not schools?

Reopening schools is critical for board aspirants as the Maharashtra State Board will hold the board exams from March 15. Even as the syllabus for the board exams has been reduced by 25 per cent, students have attended their classes in online mode and are demanding deferment or cancellation of board exams. Students have taken to Twitter and demanded the ‘Cancelation of Pariksha’ ahead of Prime Minister’s Pariksha Pe Charcha.

Last year too the state board exams were cancelled due to the pandemic and students were promoted on a new assessment model. This year, however, several boards including CBSE and CISCE have announced to hold exams semester-wise and have already held the first term exams.

Speaking on the current scenario of the pandemic, the health minister said that though the cases are surging in Maharashtra, the number of hospitalisations and the need for medical oxygen remain low. On the first anniversary of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the state health minister said that 10-15 per cent of the eligible people in Maharashtra remain to be vaccinated as taking the jab is voluntary. “This is a challenge for the health department to ensure a cent per cent vaccination and we will make it possible,” he told PTI. Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 42,462 new coronavirus infections, 749 less than Friday, besides 23 deaths, the state health department had said.

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first published:January 19, 2022, 09:59 IST