The state permitted classes IX to XII to reopen on November 23. Teachers and non-teaching staff at the schools were required to undergo the RT-PCR test and those who test negative for Covid-19 were allowed to resume duties. Among the nearly 2 lakh teaching and non-teaching staff that have undergone the test before joining school, only 2,894 have tested positive.
In the first week, only 9,127 out of the 22,204 schools reopen and 2.9 lakh students attended. Up from that, 19,524 schools had resumed operations as of January 4. “Fortunately, there hasn’t been a single case of Covid-19 reported from schools and that has encouraged a lot many people to reopen. Students attend classes on alternate days which means about 30 lakh students are now back to the classroom. Some parents continue to be worried to send their children to school but the numbers are increasing each week,” said Vikas Garad, deputy director, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training’s (MSCERT).
Across the state, 100% schools have reopened in the Jalgaon district with nearly 53.2% of the students attending class. “There are 16 districts where more than 90% of the schools have resumed physical classes. It is due to the efforts and cooperation of education officials, local administration, students and parents that the attendance of students is increasing day by day. Safety rules are being strictly enforced,” said school education minister, Varsha Gaikwad. Mumbai and Thane are the only two districts where schools are yet to reopen. Recently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation announced that schools in the city will remain shut up to January 15.