Amid the ongoing debate over the reopening of schools in Maharashtra, the state government has taken a decision to complete administering two doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the teaching and non-teaching staff on priority basis.
State Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said that parents would be relieved if the teaching and non-teaching staff are fully vaccinated.
“The chief minister will take a final decision on reopening of school after discussing it with the Task Force on Covid-19 headed by Dr Sanjay Oak. Kerala and Maharashtra are the two states which have reported a surge in Covid patients and against that backdrop, the Centre has asked for the imposition of restrictions,” he noted.
Pawar’s announcement came a day after School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said the schools may not reopen soon in the state.
Gaikwad also said that new SOPs and school reopening guidelines will be discussed. The Task Force has suggested some changes, she added. “We will hold another meeting. Thereafter, the proposal will be sent to the CM. He will make the decision about it,” she said.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, Pediatric Task Force Member Dr Samir Dalwai said that the narrative around school reopening should shift from ‘when’ to ‘how’. “Take the parents and children into confidence. Train the teachers and staff. Make a checklist.”
He further said, “Modifying the syllabus, the timetable, parallel online teaching for those who are at home that day, as well as ensuring that children do not playfully violate social distancing as far as possible – all this needs to be adapted and adopted. Since vaccination prevents severe disease, it is mandatory to have the entire adult staff in the school inoculated prior to the reopening. Maintaining thermal checks on entry to school for all as well as having a small school clinic wherein we can immediately send a child who develops a fever after coming to school is mandatory.”