Schools in Maharashtra will reopen today, October 4, 2021, for students in grades 5 to 12. When participating in off-campus programs, students, teachers and staff must comply with all COVID-19 requirements issued by the state Department of Education.
Schools across Maharashtra have resumed physical sessions for classes 5 to 12 from October 4 after being closed for more than 18 months in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Until now, schools have only conducted physical classes in areas that are reporting relatively fewer COVID-19 cases.
Last month, Maharashtra School Education Minister Barsha Gaikwad announced that physical classes would resume in schools across the state and the government has issued Standard Operating System (SOP) for this. On the morning of October 4, the Minister said in a tweet, “Congratulations to all parents and students on the reopening of schools across the state today. We hope you enjoy your first day in a safe environment.” According to the Maharashtra government, physical sessions have started for classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and classes 8 to 12 in urban areas of the state.
However, physical classes in grades 1 to 4 in rural areas and grades 1 to 7 in urban areas have not yet been introduced.
The Maharashtra education department held a meeting on October 3 to review the situation before resuming physical classes at the school.
“For a smooth transition to physical classes, effective coordination with the health department must be maintained, local administration must be maintained. We are committed to providing a conducive environment for students, many of whom will return to class in a year and a half,” Ms Gaikwad tweeted after the meeting.
According to the SOPs issued by the state government for reopening schools, students are not required to attend physical classes. If they want to attend, they have to submit a letter of consent from their parents.
Ms Gaikwad said last month that according to a survey conducted by the school education department, more than 70% of parents were in favor of reopening schools.
In Maharashtra, physical classes were closed in March 2020 following the outbreak of the Kovid-19 epidemic.
The state government in July this year allowed schools to resume physical classes in rural areas where the prevalence of COVID-19 was negligible. The decision mainly benefited the Vidarbha region of the state, but schools were closed in major cities like Mumbai and Pune.
The latest decision was made after consultation with health officials as well as the state government’s COVID-19 task force, Ms Gaikwad said earlier.