After remaining closed for over 10 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, schools will reopen for Classes 5 to 8 in Maharashtra from January 27, state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Friday. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, said that schools and colleges in Mumbai will stay shut "till further orders".
Schools and junior colleges for Classes 9 to 12 had reopened in parts of the state earlier this month based on the COVID-19 situation in respective areas. "I have informed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that schools can be reopened for Classes 5 to 8 from January 27," the minister said.
Local authorities including district collectors, municipal commissioners and district civil surgeons will have to assess the ground situation before taking a call on reopening schools and colleges, Gaikwad added. "Earlier, schools for Classes 9 and 10 commenced after all teachers underwent RT-PCR tests and premises were sanitized. Similar measures will be taken before reopening schools for Classes 5 to 8," she said.
The civic body in Mumbai issued a fresh circular stating that all schools and colleges of various mediums will remain shut till further orders in view of a second wave of the virus in other countries and in some states. Earlier, the BMC had decided to keep all schools and colleges in the city shut till January 15.
Earlier this week, the civic body permitted all the state, national and international boards to conduct their scheduled examinations physically as per the timetable.