Maharashtra: Govt Allows To Schools To Reopen For Classes 5 To 12

In the rural areas, classes will reopen for students of classes 5 to 12 and in urban areas, for students of classes 8 to 12 from October 4

The Maharashtra government has declared that schools for students studying in class 5 and above will reopen on October 4. Restarting in a phase-wise manner, the rural areas will see schools reopening for students from class 5 to class 12 and the urban areas will reopen schools for classes 8 to 12.

Maharashtra is still reporting over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases daily. While students continued to study and attend school through online courses, in-person and within classrooms have been shut since March 2020. Even the United Nations Children Education Fund, the apex UN body for taking developmental decisions regarding children's futures, has repeatedly stated that the closing down of schools has adversely affected the growth of children.

There were several reports that children would be severely affected due to SARS-CoV-2. There, however, is no evidence to support this theory that children are at a higher risk of having severe COVID-19. India is also going to start inoculating teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Ahmedabad based Zydus Pharmaceuticals.

Several other states and union territories such as Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Puducherry, Uttarakhand, have already reopened schools.

COVID-19 Protocols To Be Followed In Schools

Students will have to be masked at all times and schools will have to follow social distancing norms. To further observe social distancing, students will have to submit their homework online.

Even though schools are reopening, attendance for physical classes remains the prerogative of the family of students. Attending school will be voluntary and only with the consent of the families. Teachers will continue to teach in class as well as conduct online classes.

If a student develops any symptoms or has family members who have tested positive, they are required to inform the school so that they can take the necessary precautions. Furthermore, teachers will be regularly in touch with parents to inform them if the child is experiencing any behavioural changes.

To maintain proper hygiene, students will be encouraged to use sanitizers. After returning from school, the student should directly head to take a shower and soak their uniform in soapy water to remove any pathogens they have been exposed to. For those coming to school by the school bus or private vehicle, students are expected to be seated alone on one seat. Each student will occupy one vacant seat to avoid close proximity with other students.

Both teaching and non-teaching staff are expected to allow students to readjust to school premises and be cordial with them. Schools will also not conduct any sporting activities till the Corona situation improves.

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