Mumbai: The state-run schools in urban areas said they have not received any official circular or notice from the Maharashtra school education department regarding the reopening of offline classes for Standard 8 to 12 from August 17. Lifting restrictions on commute by local trains and parental consent are some of the prerequisites pointed out by schools for starting offline classes amidst Covid-19.
Authorities of state-run schools said they need at least a week or 10 days prior notice to initiate several preparatory measures. Sr. Arockiammal Anthony, principal of St Stanislaus High School, Bandra west, said, "We have not received any official circular yet from the state school education department regarding reopening of offline classes for Standard 8 to 12. We need at least a week's time to initiate cleaning of all classrooms, sanitisation of campus and organising regular thermal checks of all students, faculty and staff."
The principal of a South Mumbai college said, "Apart from preparatory measures, there is a lot of planning that needs be done such as calling students in batches on alternate days, creating a system and schedule to continue both offline and online lectures and instilling Covid-19 appropriate behaviour among students so that they do not cause the spread of infection. This requires time and it is going to be trial and error. The state school education department needs to provide proper guidelines for reopening of schools to mitigate Covid-19 risks."
Mohandas Shahane, a senior teacher of a state-board school said, "Parental consent should be mandatory criteria if the state plans to reopen offline classes. Parents should be taken into confidence and online lectures should continue for those who wish to attend from home. Also, school teachers and staff should be allowed to commute by local trains."