Workers clean classrooms at Katariya school, Gultekdi in Pune, India, on Monday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Workers clean classrooms at Katariya school, Gultekdi in Pune, India, on Monday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Schools to resume on November 23 for Class 9 to 12

According to state education commissioner Vishal Solanki, a meeting was held with senior officials of the Maharashtra government on the issue
Hindustan Times, Pune | By Dheeraj Bengrut
PUBLISHED ON NOV 10, 2020 04:12 PM IST

After Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced on Sunday that schools and junior college can begin classes from standard 9th to 12th on November 23, the state education department has begun gearing up for school reopening.

According to state education commissioner Vishal Solanki, a meeting was held with senior officials of the Maharashtra government on the issue.

“Schools from standard 9th to 12th will start from November 23 but in areas where Covid patients are more or in the containment zones schools will not start. Classes will start in only those areas where there are no or less Covid cases. Currently, we are working on to make SOPs related to starting schools. Later, looking at the response of 9th to 12th classes, a decision will be taken about standard 1st to 8th classes. And written permission is needed from parents to send their child to school,” Solanki said.

However, now parents’ groups are asking the CM to rethink his decision, as they cannot risk lives of their children when it is said that a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic can come during the winter season.

On the other hand, teachers and school principal associations have demanded to give proper guidelines according to which schools and junior colleges will be started. Also, it has demanded that the state government should allocate extra funds to schools for purchase of safety equipment related to Covid protocol.

“The hurry made by state government to start the schools is not necessary, if a student tests Covid positive after coming to school again he/she needs to go into 15 days isolation. And if any teacher tests positive then the entire class will be closed. On what basis and on whose trust or responsibility parents will send their children to school in such a crisis situation. If schools are started now, then parents will again be pressurised to pay school fees. So, our demand is that state government should rethink about this decision,” said Mukund Kirdat, co-ordinator, Pune Parents United.

Meanwhile, school principal association and teachers’ association have demanded to release guidelines about starting schools and junior colleges. Also, to purchase safety related equipment like hand sanitizers, face masks, thermal scanners and Oxymetres state government should allocate funds for it.

“We are ready to start classes physically for students from November 23 but for that there should be necessary guidelines given by the education department. Along with that funds are required to purchase several safety related equipment on large scale to disinfect school premises. So, state government should give funds to schools for purchase of these equipment,” said Mahendra Ganpule, state spokesperson of principals association.

Sanjay Shendge, principal of Seth Dagaduram Katariya High School said, “We have started preparations for starting physical classes in our school from November 23. School cleaning and sanitising will be done regularly and our teachers are preparing for it. We will be calling half a number of students for three days continuously and the rest half on the next three days. So that social distancing is maintained and students will study in a link of continuous three days.”

“This decision on the date of reopening will be taken after consultation with the Parent-teacher association. It is very likely that when we reopen school, we will work in two shifts, and to maintain social distance, we will only have 12-18 students in each classroom depending on the size of the class. Even if school reopens, online classes will still be available for students. However, the final call will be taken after consultation with the association.” said Dr Aanieetaa Vaissnava, principal of Orchids - The International School, Nigdi.

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