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Mumbai students back to school after 300 days of lockdown

08:02 AM Jan 19, 2021 | Ronald Rodrigues

First school in Mumbai, the American School of Bombay at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), reopened offline on Monday after over 300 days of lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This move was taken after the BMC education department allowed all American Consulate and other Consulate schools in Mumbai to reopen offline starting from January 18, 2021.

Following Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), the American School of Bombay has initiated measures such as scanning of identity (ID) cards at the entrance by every staff and student, regular body temperature checks, mandatory wearing of face masks and use of hand sanitisers.

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A senior teacher of the school said, "We have informed all parents, students and staff members about Covid-19 safety protocols. Everyone has to wear a face mask at all times in the school. Also, students can scan ID cards while entering to initiate contactless entry to the school campus. Hand sanitisers are displayed outside each classroom where students can sanitise their hands before entering the classroom and after the lecture is over."

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In addition, students are assigned seats to maintain social distancing from each other along with physical distancing signages displayed at corridors and stairs to avoid crowding. The teacher said, “Students and staff need to follow the directional signages to avoid crowding while walking in corridors. Also, we have assigned a seat to each student inside the classroom in order to maintain physical distancing.”

Schools in Mumbai have been shut offline since March 24, 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. The BMC education department has allowed only American Consulate and other Consulate schools to reopen offline lectures in Mumbai. In addition, the department has allowed Cambridge board (IGCSE) international schools to reopen offline only for board theory exams starting from January 23 and practical exams.

Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer, told the FPJ, "We have allowed American Consulate and other Consulate schools to reopen offline lectures from January 18. Also, the Cambridge board (IGCSE) schools in Mumbai can reopen offline only for the purpose of conduct of theory and practical board exams. All other schools in Mumbai will remain shut offline until further notice."

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