Offline school for all classes will be resumed in Maharashtra from December 1, state's School Education Minister Varsha Eknath Gaikwad announced on November 25.
The decision was finalised by the state Cabinet after consultations with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the paediatric task force constituted by the state government, Gaikwad said.
Earlier, the Maharashtra government had permitted schools for classes 5 to 12 to resume in rural areas, and for classes 8-12 to resume in urban areas from October 4.
The state Cabinet has now approved the decision to also reopen schools for classes 1-4 in rural areas and 1-7 in urban areas from December 1, Gaikwad said."After discussing with the Chief Minister, the cabinet and pediatric task force, the state cabinet has decided to re-open schools from Std 1st to 4th in rural areas and Std 1st to 7th in urban areas from the 1st of December. We are committed to safe resumption of schools," the minister tweeted.
In the next 6 days, the emphasis will be on acclimatising schools, parents and children towards a safe transition to physical classes as classrooms have been shut for nearly two years. We will be holding consultations with school mgt committees and parents.
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— Prof. Varsha Eknath Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) November 25, 2021
"I will also hold deliberations with the paediatric task force on the need to update the SOPs for re-opening for the sake of the much younger children, some of whom may be attending physical classes for the first time. Their well-being, health has always been our topmost priority," Gaikwad added.
The minister noted that this is the "third phase of school reopenings", adding that the school staff and students must strictly adhere to the COVID-19 safety norms.