Published: 20th January 2022
Maharashtra decides to reopen schools from January 24 as COVID cases take a dive
The move comes after many children issued direct appeals on social media to CM Thackeray and other officials regarding their desire to return to school
For the fourth time in two years of the COVID pandemic, all schools in Maharashtra are set to reopen for physical classes from January 24, just two days ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, officials said on Thursday, January 24. Classes were suspended in December 2021, barring the crucial Class X and Class XII for Board exams students, after the third wave of COVID-19, complicated by the Omicron variant, gripped the state.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray gave the green signal for the proposal to reopen schools from Monday with COVID protocols and SOPs strictly in place, said School Education Minister Prof Varsha Gaikwad. "Schools located in areas where Coronavirus cases are fewer can restart physical classes for pre-primary and Classes 1-12. We are committed to the safe resumption of schools in the state," said Prof Gaikwad. She emphasised that in this fourth phase of school reopening plans, everyone must compulsorily adhere to the COVID protocols and the consent of parents would be essential.
"I reiterate, improving learning outcomes in children through continued education in a safe environment is our goal. I wish to thank our schools and teachers for continuously ensuring a safe environment for our students," the minister added. She urged parents not to send their children to school if they are unwell and school management must ensure isolation facilities in case any student displays symptoms. Besides wearing face masks at all times, only one student would be allowed per bench and vaccination for the older students would be further ramped up, said Prof Gaikwad.
The move comes after many children issued direct appeals on social media to CM Thackeray and other officials regarding their desire to return to school besides a continuous dialogue between the government, the paediatric task force and education experts.