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Maharashtra government to reopen schools from January 24

A worker cleans a classroom, at Matunga in Mumbai. File

A worker cleans a classroom, at Matunga in Mumbai. File

The Maharashtra Government is set to reopen schools from Monday, January 24.

Schools in the State were closed in the wake of the spread of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The State’s School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday said, “After the increase in COVID positive cases in the State, the government had decided to discontinue offline classes till February 15. But after discussions with experts and also looking at the present drop in the number of cases, it has been decided to reopen schools from Monday.”

The proposal to reopen schools from Classes 1to 12 was sent to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Ms. Gaikwad added that even though the government has allowed the reopening of schools from Monday, the final decision on fixing the date stands with local authorities such as the Municipal Corporation and Zilla Parishad. “These bodies will take a decision based on the local situation with respect to COVID-19,” she said.

The State’s Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, too, on Thursday said that the proposal to reopen colleges in the State had been sent to the CM and he would take the final decision on it.

The State government had directed that all schools and colleges be closed till February 15 when the Omicron variant led to a surge in the number of positive cases. But a number of teacher and parent organisations from the interiors of the State, where the number of COVID-19 patients remained low, questioned the government’s decision on the blanket closure of classes.

Teacher organisations had also written to the Education Department, requesting the decentralisation of decision-making in closing schools, and allowing local authorities the right to decide.

They said online education could not be an alternative to in-person education, and also drew attention to the poor quality of education reaching students, especially of primary classes, in the online mode.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 7:55:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-government-to-reopen-schools-from-january-24/article38300019.ece