Maharashtra: Varsha Gaikwad releases SOP ahead of reopening schools

State education minister Varsha Gaikwad has shared a set of SOPs for resuming offline classes in the state from August 17.

Maharashtra: Varsha Gaikwad releases SOP ahead of reopening schools
Anu Parthiban | Aug 11, 2021 - 12:26 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government has decided to reopen schools in the state. School education minister Varsha Gaikwad informed that Classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and Classes 8 to 12 in urban areas will be allowed to attend physical classes from August 17, 2021.

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“Schools in areas where coronavirus cases are under control can restart physical classes for Std 5-12th in rural areas & 8-12th in urban areas from Aug 17. Safe resumption of schools is being considered to ensure all students have equal access to education amidst the pandemic”, Gaikwad said.

Relaxing the attendance norms, the minister said that the decision of parents to send their children to schools will be considered final.

“...81% parents said in @scertmaha survey they want schools to reopen so on July 15, 8-12th Std classes were started in corona free villages,” Gaikwad tweeted.

According to the SOP released, the teaching hours will be reduced to three to four hours per day and no cultural and sports events will be permitted.

Only 15 to 20 students will be allowed to attend the physical classes at a given time. One student will sit on a bench at a distance of six feet between benches. Schools will also have to provide isolation facilities and they should tie-up with the local health departments for any emergency situation, as per the notice.

As per the guidelines, all teachers and staff have to be vaccinated for coronavirus and the local authorities have been instructed to take the necessary steps to ensure they get the doses.

Schools have also been directed to install digital thermometers and sanitisers. The district administration has been asked to shut down the quarantine centres set up in schools before the schools reopen.

With the possible third wave of Covid-19, the state education minister said no laxity in the implementation of SOPs will be permitted.

On July 23, the Maharashtra government had announced that the syllabus for Classes 1 to 12 will be reduced by 25% in view of the prevailing health emergency.

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