Mumbai: BMC mulls reopening of city schools with pre-Covid timings from March amid dip in daily cases

He also added that the schools will be encouraged to organise vaccination camps for students from age 15 and up, on campus with the consent of parents.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, February 25, 2022, 08:19 PM IST
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Mumbai: Minister Aaditya Thackeray holds meeting with officials to discuss resumption of schools with pre- covid timings and norms from March | Twitter/ Aaditya Thackeray

Tourism Minister and Mumbai Suburban District Guardian Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Friday held meeting with the BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on resumption of schools in Mumbai from March as per pre covid timings. BMC is expected to soon issue the guidelines in this regard

"This afternoon, I held a meeting for schools in Mumbai to resume from March, with pre- covid timings, attendance, curricular & extra-curricular activities, school buses, apart from certain essential covid appropriate norms, as cases steadily decline in Mumbai. The schools also will be encouraged to organize vaccination camps for students from age 15 and up, on campus, with @mybmc @mybmcedu and doctors, with the consent of parents, to ensure vaccination rates and protection for students eligible for the covid vaccine," he said.

Aaditya’s move comes close on the heels of dip in daily COVID 19 cases and low positivity rate in Mumbai.

Even though the schools had reopened in the city in January, they are not functioning full time and also with full capacity while adhering to COVID 19 norms. In view of today’s meeting, BMC is expected to take a decision on functioning of city schools with pre COVID timings and with 100% attendance.

School Leaders Network Director Francis Joseph said it is so important to normalize teaching and learning in our schools. ‘’We have to slowly and surely move on with Covid precautions, but not restrict students to learn together in a classroom. Staggered timing does not help as children are missing their ‘’daily’’ school. I thank Aaditya Thackeray and BMC for thinking forward for our students in Mumbai,’’ he noted.

On the other hand, Pediatric Task Force member Dr Samir Dalwai said that the schools should run comprehensively. ‘’We have innovated enough and unfortunately stakeholders are more confused than ever. We need to start full-fledged schools to fully understand how much educational assimilation and achievements has happened for each student so we can plan the exact way ahead.’’ He added that the support systems for schooling should be given due attention.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases across the city have dropped by 52.25 per cent in February compared to last month. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, 7.50 lakh covid testing has been done until February 23 compared to 15.71 lakh in January. However, the test daily positivity rate has also dropped below 1 per cent. Health experts believe the city may be reporting fewer cases due to low testing. Moreover, a considerable proportion of persons in Mumbai do not opt for testing or do self-testing at home but do not report it.

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