Maharashtra school reopening: Classes for 1-4 in rural, 1-7 in urban areas to begin from this date
Mumbai, Nov 25: The Maharashtra government has given its nod for the reopening of the schools for classes 1-4 in rural areas and for classes 1-7 in urban areas, state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad announced on Thursday.
"After discussing with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, cabinet and paediatric task force, the state cabinet has decided to re-open schools for standard 1-4 in rural areas and standard 1-7 in urban areas from Dec 1. We're committed to the safe resumption of schools," news agency ANI quoted Varsha Gaikwad as saying.
Speaking with the reporters, health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said that the paediatric task force headed by Dr Suhas Prabhu has recommended the government to reopen the schools for Standards 1 to 4 with social distancing and other regulations in place. The health department too had cleared the proposal, he added.
Talking to a daily, Dr Suhas Prabhu said parents should not hesitate to send their kids to school expecting the third wave of Covid-19 or till their children are fully vaccinated. "I have seen children who have put on 15kg during the pandemic, some who are depressed or have sleep disorders. We need to get the economic and education cycle back on track so that people, including children, can lead normal lives," he said.
Schools across Maharashtra resumed physical sessions for classes 5 to 12 from October 4 after being shut for over 18 months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Maharashtra, physical classes in schools were stopped in March 2020, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.