The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday passed an order to allow reopening of schools for classes 5th to 8th from February 1 following SOP (standard operating procedure) that have been provided by the state government, news agency ANI reported.
The Maharashtra education department had on January 15 allowed reopening of schools for classes 5 to 8 from January 27. "We are consulting parents and local officials in this regard. Local officials have also conducted a large number of RT-PCR tests on school teachers and non-teaching staff before reopening schools," Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad had said.
In Pune, the number of students for class 5 to 8 is almost four times that for class 9 to 10. And each class has at least three or more divisions, Suresh Jagtap, PMC additional commissioner, had said on Wednesday. He had said that the PMC is still reviewing the number of students that will be allowed in schools and how they can be accommodated.
Last month, the state government had empowered district collectors and local authorities to decide on reopening of schools, which have been shut since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for classes 9 to 12 based on the coronavirus situation in their areas. After which the classes for 9 to 12 were reopened within PMC limits on January 4. So far, 414 private schools out of 500 were given permission by the civic administration to reopen after an inspection by officials, reported Hindustan Times.