Mumbai: Schools in Maharashtra will reopen offline for Standard 5 to 8 starting from January 27, 2021, announced Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister of Maharashtra, on Friday. On the other hand, the education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has directed all schools in Mumbai to continue to remain shut offline for all standards until further notice.
On Friday, after a discussion meeting with Chief Minister (CM) of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray, the school education minister said, "In continuation of our plan to reopen schools in a phase wise manner, I discussed my department's proposal to reopen schools for Standard 5 to 8 from January 27 onwards with the Chief Minister who was kind enough to approve it."
Gaikwad further said, "I have assured the chief minister and would like to assure all students and parents that our SOPs are guided by the principle of ensuring continuity of education in the safest possible manner for our children."
Parental consent, Covid-19 related SOPs and RT-PCR tests of teachers will be conducted, Gaikwad said. "We have directed schools to maintain all Covid-19 safety protocols, physical distancing and precautionary measures at the ground level. Students will be allowed to attend offline classes with parental consent. RT-PCR testing of all teachers will be done over the course of next few days," Gaikwad said.
On the other hand, though schools might reopen offline for Standard 5 to 8 in the rest of Maharashtra, schools in Mumbai will continue to remain shut offline. The BMC education department on Friday released a notice stating, "Schools of all boards, mediums and managements in Mumbai will remain shut offline for students starting from January 16 until further notice."
Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer, told the Free Press Journal (FPJ), "All schools of all mediums, boards and managements will remain shut offline for students until further notice in Mumbai. This applies to all standards from Class 1 to Class 12 which includes Standard 9 to 12 and Standard 5 to 8."