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Maharashtra Schools to Reopen from December 1

Maharashtra schools to reopen from December 1 (Representational Image)

Maharashtra schools to reopen from December 1 (Representational Image)

Maharashtra-based schools will reopen amid strict covid-19 precautions. While parental consent will be mandatory. Students will also have to wear masks and follow social distancing.

After being closed for over 20 months, the Maharashtra government has decided to reopen schools from December 1. In rural areas, physical classes will reopen for classes 1 to 4, and in urban areas classes 1 to 7 will be allowed to attend schools in physical mode. The decision came after a review meeting held today.

Shortly after the meeting, Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said, “In the next six days, the emphasis will be on acclimatising schools, parents and children towards a safe transition to physical classes as classrooms have been shut for nearly two years. We will be holding consultations with school management committees and parents."

Schools will be held amid strict covid-19 precautions. Classes will not be mandatory while wearing masks and social distancing will be a must. The state government is yet to release detailed SOPs. The guidelines are expected to be released soon. Gaikwad assured that students’ “well-being, health has always been our top-most priority". She added, “This is the third phase of school reopenings, we must continue to observe all Covid-19 protocols."

As reported by news18.com earlier, the Maharashtra health department had given its nod to the reopening of schools and the matter was awaiting the chief minister’s nod. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told CNN News18 said that infection rates among kids are less. “We have seen that hardly any serious cases have been reported from children. But they may end up infecting their grandparents, their comorbid family members. And that is why we have to be careful." The department had suggested vaccinating kids in the age group of 12 to 18 years.

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The announcement came after a group of 2,400 parents had written a petition to Maharashtra Cheif Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging the reopening of schools. In the letter, parents had highlighted problems related to online learning and the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of the children.

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first published:November 25, 2021, 16:50 IST