Maharashtra schools reopen for physical classes after 18 months

Maharashtra education department allows physical sessions for classes 5-12 students after 18 months of online classes

Maharashtra schools reopen for physical classes after 18 months Maharashtra schools reopen after 18 months
Press Trust of India | Oct 4, 2021 - 11:37 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Maharashtra resumed physical sessions for classes 5 to 12 on Monday after being shut for over 18 months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until now, schools were conducting physical classes only in the areas with fewer COVID-19 cases. Last month, Maharashtra's school education minister, Varsha Gaikwad had announced that physical classes will resume in schools across the state and the government also issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for it, said a PTI report.

On Monday morning, the minister in a tweet said, "Wishing all parents and students the very best as schools reopen across the state today. We hope you enjoy your first day back in a safe atmosphere,” a PTI report said.

According to the Maharashtra government, physical sessions have started for classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and for classes 8 to 12 in urban areas of the state. But, the physical classes have not yet been resumed for classes 1 to 4 in rural areas and for classes 1 to 7 in urban areas. The Maharashtra education department conducted a meeting on Sunday to take stock of the situation before resuming physical classes in schools. "For a smooth transition to physical classes, effective coordination with the health department, local administration will have to be maintained. We are committed to providing a conducive atmosphere to students, many among whom will be returning to class after a year and a half," Gaikwad had tweeted after the meeting.

Also Read |Kerala colleges to reopen for vaccinated students from October 18: Report

As per SOPs issued by the state government for the reopening of schools, it is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes. If they want to attend, they will have to submit consent letters from their parents. Gaikwad last month said that as per a survey conducted by the school education department, more than 70 per cent parents favoured reopening of schools.

Maharashtra had stopped physical classes in schools in March 2020, after the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The state government in July this year allowed schools to restart physical classes in the rural areas where COVID-19 prevalence was negligible. The decision mainly benefited the state's Vidarbha region, but schools in major cities like Mumbai and Pune remained closed. The latest decision was taken after consulting health officials as well as the state government's COVID-19 task force, Gaikwad earlier said.

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