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Schools to not reopen before Diwali, says Maharashtra education ministry

05:56 AM Oct 12, 2020 | Ronald Rodrigues

Mumbai: Following the confusion regarding the physical reopening of schools, the state education ministry has cleared the air by declaring that schools in Maharashtra will not reopen before the Diwali break. Varsha Gaikwad, school education minister of Maharashtra, said that schools will not reopen until Diwali as the number of Covid-19 cases in the state is high.

On October 5, the Union Ministry of Education, Central Government of India issued guidelines for reopening of physical schools in a limited manner starting from October 15. The ministry has left it for the states and Union Territories to decide whether they want to reopen schools from October 15. States and Union territories can prepare their own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding health and safety precaution for reopening of schools, as per the guidelines of the education ministry of India.

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But the Maharashtra government has declared that schools will not reopen till Diwali. Gaikwad said, "Schools can continue online education via virtual classes. Schools will not reopen before Diwali. Some teachers have been taking special classes for students in specific areas."

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Senior officials of the state education department said students and teachers will be informed in advance about reopening of schools. A senior officer of the state education department said, "Currently, school teachers are conducting online classes. Schools can also explore blended mode of teaching-learning gradually once the situation is under control."

On the other hand, parents and students are worried about the road ahead for reopening of schools. Yadna Desai, a parent said, "Even if schools reopen, they will have to initiate strict safety measures and take necessary precautions. We do not want to risk the lives of our children at any cost."

Lalit Mishra, another parent said, "The state should take time to reopen schools. But there are some students who do not have access to online education. The government has to consider different mediums of teaching-learning to reach such students."

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