Physical classes resume in Maharashtra schools amid parents and teachers’ protest

Schools resumed physical sessions for classes 1 to 12 in Maharashtra on Monday and the state government expressed hope that students would enjoy going back to their classrooms in a safe atmosphere.

Last week, the Maharashtra government allowed offline classes to resume from January 24 after Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray approved a proposal to that effect sent to him by the School Education Department.

Schools across the state 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 previously announced that schools for grades 1-9 to January 31 were to be closed.

But the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) assessment later indicated that cases of Omicron infection were not increasing, and it had said the curve is flattening. It had prompted officials to propose reopening schools for physical attendance.

On Monday morning, Maharashtra’s Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad greeted students and parents at the reopening of physical classes.

“I wish all parents and students all the best now that physical classes reopen today. We hope that you can enjoy your day again in a safe atmosphere. #Back to school. @scertmaha @CMOMaharashtra @msbshse,” Gaikwad tweeted.

Also in Mumbai, several schools are resuming offline classes in the morning.

Last week, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had said that face-to-face or offline classes will also resume in kindergartens.

While the schools are allowed to resume physical classes, the state government has asked them to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

On Sunday, Maharashtra reported 40,805 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 75,07,225, while 44 fatalities took the toll to 1,42,115, a health department official said earlier.

No Omicron case was discovered in the state on Sunday, leaving the number affected by the new variant at 2,759, of whom 1,437 have been fired so far, the official said.

Sajal Jain
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The Bihar Engineering