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School Reopening: Things You Should Know About New Guidelines

October 28, 2021

When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit us in March 2020, schools faced challenges due to uncertainty over how to ensure student safety and continuing education. Now, top international schools in Mumbai have resumed physical classes as per government guidelines.

Since March 2020, schools in Maharashtra, like the rest of India, have been closed due to the Covid-19 situation. While schools were about to reopen partially earlier this year, the plan was quickly scrapped due to a large increase of Covid cases in the state during the second wave of the outbreak.

Now, schools across the state of Maharashtra have finally reopened for classes 8 to 12. The resumption schedule was announced by Varsha Gaikwad, the School Education Minister of Maharashtra. According to the latest update, all schools in rural areas of Maharashtra have resumed physical classes from classes 5 to 12, while in urban areas they have opened for classes 8 to 12.

The State’s School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has announced a number of rules and regulations along with the reopening of schools. It is understandable that parents are afraid of sending their children to school after the ferocious pandemic, however, the following guidelines issued by the government is set to bring some relief forward:

  • Physical attendance for classes is not compulsory for students. The school authorities are bound to provide both offline and online classes.
  • Only one student can sit on a single bench and the classroom should comprise of only 50 students per batch.
  • Students are only allowed to come to school with the consent of their parents.
  • Students have been also asked to come on an alternate day’s basis.
  • Every school has to conduct a parent-teacher meeting online to inform the parents about precautions taken by the school authorities.
  • All schools have to be connected with nearby Covid centres.
  • Social distancing has to be maintained in classrooms.
  • School health clinics should be set up as preconditions for the reopening of schools. Regular checkups are mandatory and in case a student is detected with a high fever, the student has to be shifted to the sick room and the school has to alert the doctors immediately.
  • For the teachers, the government has said that apart from teaching they also need to be trained in handling emergencies considering the COVID-19 is not over.
  • Apart from health clinics and face masks mandatory rules, the schools will also have to provide counselling to students complaining or suffering from stress and depression.

Following these Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), schools in Maharashtra, including CBSE schools in Pune, have been opened for secondary media. The government plans to resume primary as well as nursery classes soon.