Schools in Mumbai were finally allowed to resume today, January 24, and students have been greeted with joy and delight. Previously, schools were shut due to the Covid rise in the city, but the government has chosen to reopen them at the district level concerning the administration.
According to the official data from the Education Department of Mumbai, from the total of 2,97,467 consent forms received from parents, approximately 1,93,640 students attended physical schools on the first day of school
This time, Mumbai schools were permitted for the Pre-Primary sections as well, which elicited a favourable response from parents. Peter Murphy, Head of, Oberoi International School, OGC campus said, " The sentiment from parents has been overwhelmingly positive, supportive and encouraging. Our youngest learners (3-5-year-olds) turned up in large numbers and quickly settled into their classroom routines. As they left, almost all were keen to give a ‘high five’; to indicate that they had enjoyed the experience of being back in school.”
Since all grades from first to 12th have resumed, and schools had a fair number of students on the first day, schools are expecting a better response hereafter. Mr. Vinod Kulkarni, Chairman of Meridian School, Mumbai, and a Gen. Secretary of MESTA said, "We have opened our school today, and parents and children were extremely delighted. We had 75 percent attendance today just with the consent of the parents, and we will have full attendance in the next 2-3 days."
Schools, on the other hand, have already kept in touch with parents about the little adjustments that were taking place. Ms. Anjali Bowen, Principal, Ryan International School, Kandivali said, "Interestingly there are no real surprises on children and parents responding to the reopening of schools. The reason is that we have maintained ongoing contact with parents for the (students) through our different platforms apart from online classes. They are been updated every development related to school and all activities."
"I was expecting that the parents will be worried about their child's health and would put up many questions related to it. But seeing the hygiene and cleanliness of the school the parents were satisfied and were happy to send their children to school," said Mrs. Mamta Bhatt, Head Mistress, St. Francis High School,-SSC, Vasai.
Apart from that, several schools in Mumbai are beginning on the 27th or 31st, and they are making preparations such as sanitization, seating arrangements, and other protective measures.
"We are planning to open the gates for our students in phases from next week onwards. We have once again circulated consent forms to the parents to learn about their opinions. Initially, we look forward to beginning with offline classes for higher grades as their vaccination has been taken care of. The back-to-school movement for the lower grades is still under watch. In terms of infrastructure and hygiene, we’ve ensured that the classrooms are ready with furniture and bench shields," said Principal Madhuri Sagale, Orchids - The International School, Thane Branch.