As the chorus is getting louder against the Maharashtra Government’s decision on the closure of all schools amid rising COVID 19 and Omicron Variant cases, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday broke the silence and said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a final decision on reopening of schools after a fortnight after reviewing the pandemic situation.
Many social organizations and education experts have objected to the closure of schools in districts where there has been no visible spike in COVID 19 and Omicron Variant cases. They have urged the state government to reopen the schools at the earliest on account of problems relating to connectivity for online education and the lack of access to gadgets to many students.
Tope admitted that the state government has received representations for the reopening of schools. The minister of state for education had also confirmed that the education experts and parents and teachers association have been of the view that the government should not have announced en masse closure of schools.
‘’ The Chief Minister will take a final decision after a comprehensive review of the pandemic situation after 15 days. There is a demand for reopening of the schools with 50% capacity where there is no spike in cases,’’ said Tope.
Further, the minister said the government will pay attention to increasing the pace of vaccination by running awareness campaigns in all districts. ‘’Since the launch of the universal immunization programme on January 16, 2021, in the country, nearly 90% eligible beneficiaries have taken the first vaccine shot and 62% second dose in Maharashtra. In addition, 42% eligible beneficiaries from the age group of 15-18 years have received the vaccine dose in the state,’’ he added.
Tope, however, expressed concern over the reluctance of eligible persons to get themselves fully vaccinated.