After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accepted the proposal by the education department to reopen physical classes in Maharashtra for pre-primary and Classes 1 to 12, the BMC education department late on Thursday issued the official circular for reopening of Mumbai schools from January 24.
Parents who are not willing to send their kids to school can opt for online classes. For schools, it is mandatory to conduct both modes, the circular said.
Principals from around the city are glad about the decision and are completely prepared to reopen. “Logistics is not an issue. We are prepared for reopening as we were expecting a decision on this. Students are going to be overwhelmed meeting their peers and teachers and we cannot let our guard down. To be able to settle them by following protocols, we would like to reopen them in phases. Settle two classes at a time and after a gap of 2 to 3 days, call the next set of classes,” said Prachi Ranadive, Principal, Shishuvan International School.
“I believe that the government’s decision has come as a relief for the children, parents, and the teachers alike. We have had been preparing for this day and therefore, look forward to welcoming all our students with safety measures in place. As part of these measures, a special COVID taskforce has been appointed. We would like to assure parents that they should not worry about sending their kids back to school as all the teachers and the administrative staff have been trained to follow COVID protocols,” said Nikhat Jafferey, Principal, Billabong High International School, Santacruz.
"There's a complete upheaval in the education due to the Covid-19 and we are facing turbulences each month. Now, if the schools are to begin, we need to monitor the situation closely for a while keeping in mind the safety of the students. Nevertheless, education shouldn't be compromised and if the situation permits, the schools should be opened as soon as possible. Our management is taking stock of the situation currently and will make the final decision as to when to start the physical classes," said Principal Kavita Chatterjee, Orchids - The International School, Kurla, Mumbai.
As the government has decided to reopen pre-primary sections as well, parents are happy and eager to see their children return to school after being out for over two years. “Maharashtra government has allowed this after hearing the wishes of parents. I expect Mumbai schools to open as soon as the BMC allows without further delays. If the BMC delays or SOPs turn out to be unworkable, I expect Mumbai schools to be proactive and demand workable SOPs,” said Sanne Gandhi, a parent from Mumbai.
“I think this is wonderful news and I think that all Mumbai schools, especially the prestigious private schools who have the necessary financial and human infrastructure to have prepared for this day to come need to stay in line with the government mandate of 24th January,” said another parent, Arundhati De Sheth.