9,127 schools, out of a total of 25,866 schools, in Maharashtra opened the doors of their classrooms for the students of Standard 9 to Standard 12 on Monday. According to the School Education Department data, 1,353 teachers out of a total of 1,41,720 teachers in the state tested positive for COVID-19 in the RT-PCR tests conducted before the reopening of schools. In Mumbai, 21 school teachers out of 7,715 teachers and 10 non-teaching staff out of the 2,329 non-teaching staff catering to students from Standard 9 to Standard 12 tested positive for the virus.
Despite opposition, schools were reopened for Standard 9 to Standard 12 and offline lectures were conducted in 9,127 schools in the 25 districts of Maharashtra. Schools were not reopened in 10 districts, including Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Dhule, Nanded, Nagpur, Jalgaon, Nashik, Parbhani and Hingoli.
Over 2,99,193 students from Standard 9 to Standard 12 attended lectures inside the classrooms on Monday after almost eight months of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the School Education Department data, 35.3 per cent of the schools in Maharashtra have reopened for Standard 9 to Standard 12.
As per its compilation, Amravati district topped the list with 100% reopening of schools, followed by the naxal affected Gadchiroli ( 92.2%), Osmanabad (90.6%), Satara (89.2%), Solapur (86.5%), Akola (85.9%), Yavatmal (83.7%), Latur (82.2%), Jalna (77.8%), Aurangabad (70.4%), Nandurbar (69.1), Buldhana (64%), Gondia (63.5%), Chandrapur (58%), Bhandara (57.3%), Ratnagiri (44.9%), Sangli(44.3%), Raigad (35.6%), Sindhudurg (33.2%), Washim (32. 8%), Beed (30.7%), Kolhapur (24.7%), Ahmednagar (23%), Pune (17.3%) and Wardha (14%).
As per the government guidelines, schools will operate every alternate day with 50% attendance. 1,353 teachers out of a total of 1,41,720 teachers in the state tested positive and 290 non-teaching staff tested positive out of a total of 4,43,13 who took the RT-PCR test.
A senior officer of the department said, "Lectures were conducted inside the classrooms for Standard 9 to Standard 12 in batches by maintaining precautionary measures and social distancing on Monday. Teachers, students and non-teaching staff were informed to wear masks at all times and sanitise their hands regularly."
The officer said, "We have resumed offline lectures to cater to those students who are unable to attend virtual classes. Also, schools serve as a medium to provide nutritional food to students who rely on midday meals."
In Mumbai, though the teaching and non-teaching staff of Standard 9 to Standard 12 have taken the COVID-19 RT-PCR test, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has stated that all schools will remain shut till December 31, 2020, in view of the possibility of the second wave.