Maharashtra’s minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Thursday that schools for grades 1 to 9 in the state could reopen for offline classroom sessions from January 24.
Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed to a proposal to that effect sent to him by the school education department, she said. “Written instructions on this will be issued today or tomorrow,” the school education minister added.
Schools in areas where there are fewer cases of coronavirus can restart physical classes for std 1st-12th and also start pre-primary classes from January 24th. We are committed to a safe resumption of schools in the state. #Back to school @MahaDGIPR pic.twitter.com/MesX5SNl5L
— Prof. dr. Varsha Eknath Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) January 20, 2022
Schools in Maharashtra were closed in the first week of January due to a spike in coronavirus cases and in the wake of the rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant. However, a number of parents, activists in the field and teachers strongly opposed closing the schools as it would adversely affect the students.
In Mumbai, the local government agency had announced that the schools for grades 1-9 to January 31 would be closed.
However, the review of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had found that the number of cases of Omicron infection is not increasing, and it had said that the curve is flattening. It prompted officials to propose reopening the schools for physical attendance.
“Our SOPs are very strict and clear. We notified the management of schools four days in advance to carry out vaccination and disinfection and to set a timetable. The timing and other necessary decisions will be made by the local authorities, such as the district collector or the municipal commissioner, based on the local situations,” said Gaikwad.
On Wednesday, she said a proposal to reopen schools in the state had been sent to the prime minister for approval.