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Maharashtra starts offline classes from today, attendance optional | Details here

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Maharashtra starts offline classes from today, attendance optional | Details here

Mumbai: Maharashtra government has announced to open physical classes in schools across the state, starting from today. Schools in Maharashtra were closed due to the prevalent Covid-19 situation in the state, however, the state administration had announced its decision to resume offline classes earlier last month.

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School education minister Varsha Gaikwad had earlier said,“All the schools in rural areas will resume physical classes for standards 5th to 12th.” 

Physical classes for standards 8th to 12th would resume everywhere in urban areas too, she added.

Until now schools were conducting physical classes only in those areas which were reporting relatively fewer COVID-19 cases.

Physical classes would not resume yet for standards 1st to 7th in urban areas and standards 1st to 4th in rural areas.

Also Read :- Maharashtra to reopen schools in full capacity for all classes from December 1

The latest decision was taken after consulting health officials as well as the state government”s COVID-19 task force, Gaikwad said.

Schools reopening in Maharashtra

“The school education department has given the powers to implement the decision as per local conditions to district collectors. Every school will have to conduct a parent-teacher meeting and apprise parents about precautions as well as the immediate steps to be taken by the school administration,” she said.

Gaikwad said that students will be facilitated with access to online and offline classes. They will come to schools only with the consent of their parents.

“The attendance will not be made compulsory for students as they will be able to receive education through both online and offline mediums and our content is available on YouTube. Students will come to schools only with the consent of their parents,” Gaikwad said.

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With schools reopening Monday onwards, held a meeting with senior education department officials, education officers across the state to assess preparedness. Officials gave some welcome suggestions during the meeting. These will surely help.

Staggered school hours, social distancing inside classrooms, setting up school health clinics are some of the suggested SOPs the Maharashtra government has set for schools to reopen.

As to the residential schools run by the tribal development department, a separate decision will be taken by that ministry, Gaikwad said.

“Though schools will reopen in the entire state, there is no compulsion for students to attend physical classes. Consent of parents will be necessary if they want to attend,” the minister added.

As per a survey conducted by the school education department, more than 70 per cent parents favoured reopening of schools, Gaikwad said.

The state government in July this year had allowed schools to restart physical classes in the rural areas where COVID-19 prevalence was negligible. The decision mainly benefited theVidarbha region.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Sunday reported 2,692 new coronavirus positive cases and 41 fatalities while 2,716 patients were discharged, the state health department said. The new additions pushed Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally to 65,59,349, the death toll to 1,39,207 and the number of recoveries to 63,80,670, it said, adding that the state is now left with 35,888 active cases.

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