Maharashtra schools re-open: Parent’s consent mandatory
New Delhi, Jan 24: Amid a declining number of daily Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra reopened schools for Classes 1 to 9 for offline classroom sessions.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the decision to reopen schools for primary classes to XII from Monday was taken after complete thought was given to the issue.
The government has however said that the local authorities have been empowered to assess the COVID-19 situation. Further the consent of the parents will be mandatory for attendance the government also said.
Schools were shut last month after a spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. Talking to reporters in Jalna on Sunday, Tope said opening of schools was necessary for the brain development of children and it was not right to keep them at home for long.
The reopening of schools was a risk or middle path the state government decided upon to stop the spread of the virus as well as ensure children do not suffer.
"We have given a lot of flexibility and also stressed that following COVID-19 norms is a must," the minister said, adding that parents must send their wards to school. While COVID-19 cases have increased over the past few days, 90-95 per cent oxygen and ICU beds are vacant, he said, adding that restrictions would be eased if the rate of hospitalisation remains low.
The minister also informed that 90 per cent of eligible beneficiaries in the state have taken the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while second dose coverage is in the 62-63 per cent range. He, however, said several people had skipped their second vaccine dose and health workers were trying their best to get this section to overcome hesitancy.
Meanwhile, schools in Pune are not going to open this week and the decision on reopening of schools will be taken after a review meeting next week, said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday.
On the contrary as per a PTI report, a survey was conducted on parents in Maharashtra found that approximately 62% parents are not willing to send their students to schools. The survey was conducted by online community platform LocalCircle across tier-I, tier-II/III and tier-IV cities of the state that received 4,976 responses.