A day after the cabinet approved the reopening of schools from pre-primary to standard 12th, the Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Friday reviewed preparedness for school reopening with district education officials, municipal and health authorities in the state. ‘’Most districts have shown readiness to start schools from Monday. Schools in areas where coronavirus cases are fewer can restart physical classes for Std 1st-12th and also start pre-primary classes from January 24 onwards. We are committed to safe resumption of schools in the state,’’ she noted.
Gaikwad said she has directed that a special cell be formed to coordinate with district administration to provide daily data regarding reopening, vaccination status of students and health data. ‘’Have also asked district education officials to visit at least 3 schools per day to survey reopening. Safe resumption of schools is our priority. We appeal to all stakeholders to come together to ensure continued education in a safe manner,’’ he added.
‘’During our continued dialogue with parents and teachers, we received consistent feedback about restarting physical classes along with online education for better learning outcomes. The health, safety and continuous education of our students are of primary concern for us. Schools will ensure strict adherence to SOPs. Masks to be worn at all times. No more than one student is to be seated per bench. Vaccination drives older students to be ramped up,’’ said the minister.
Gaikwad however, said the consent of parents is important for attendance. Parents are also requested to not send students to school if they are unwell. Schools will ensure isolation facilities in case any student shows symptoms.
‘’I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our schools and especially our teachers for continuously ensuring a safe environment for our students. This is the fourth phase of school re-opening; we must continue to observe all COVID 19 protocols. I reiterate, improving learning outcomes in children through continued education in a safe environment is our goal,’’ said Gaikwad.