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After 10 months, schools reopen offline for Std V to VIII in parts of Maharashtra

11:22 PM Jan 27, 2021 | Ronald Rodrigues

After almost 10 months, schools reopened offline lectures for Standard 5 to 8 from Wednesday in various nearby areas of Mumbai such as Palghar, Vasai and Vashi. Schools said they initiated precautionary measures such as student per bench with 50 per cent attendance, hand sanitisers, body temperature checks, the mandatory wearing of masks, and social distancing to prevent Covid-19 risks.

Following the direction of the state school education department, schools apart from those in Thane and Mumbai districts reopened offline on Friday. Schools reopened in over 30 districts of Maharashtra with standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to Covid-19.

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Schools in Palghar called 25 to 30 students per division with one student per bench in a classroom. Madhumita Kaushik, a teacher of a Palghar school said, "We called only 25 students out of the total class strength of 55 students. We are calling students on alternate days to attend offline lectures in order to avoid crowding. The attendance turnout was almost 90 per cent on the first day which indicates that parents and students were waiting for schools to reopen offline."

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While, Usman Khan, a principal of a Nerul school said, "We have made it mandatory for all students, teaching and non-teaching staff to wear masks inside school premises. Body temperature checks of all those entering the school are being done regularly while, hand sanitisers are placed outside every classroom, staffroom, canteen, and washroom."

Recently, Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister had announced that schools in Maharashtra will reopen offline for Standard 5 to 8 starting from January 27, 2021. But, the education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) directed that all schools in Mumbai will continue to remain shut offline for all standards until further notice. In addition, schools in Thane and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) areas have also been directed to remain shut until further notice.

Gaikwad who visited some Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools on Wednesday said, "Schools have been reopened by taking care of all issues like sanitisation of schools, an inspection of teachers for Covid-19 tests, maintenance of safety measures, and parental consent. Parents should not send a child who is ill or a person in the household who is ill to the school."

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