Schools to reopen for primary classes in Maharashtra from December 1

The decision has been made in the wake of demands from parent, teacher organisations

Days after teacher and parent organisations urged the State Government to restart primary schools in the State, Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday cleared the decision to reopen physical classes for students studying in standard I to IV from December 1.

State Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said, “The decision to reopen primary schools has been cleared by the State Cabinet. Those who are studying in standard 1 and 2 have never seen the face of the school. They haven’t been in a classroom and taught directly by a teacher. For them, everything will be new when they enter the class. We will try to ensure that this new experience will be happy and healthy for them.”

Ms. Gaikwad said that her department had sent the proposal to restart schools after holding rounds of discussion with the Chief Minister, chief secretary, health department, pediatric task force and others. “We had said that the department would require at least a week to prepare for the classes. Based on that December 1 is decided as a date to restart primary classes,” she said.

Reiterating what teacher organisations had been claiming that it was important for students to make a comeback in offline education system, she said the department will be holding discussions with parents and teachers before starting classes. “All COVID guidelines and health norms will be followed,” she said.

Several teacher organisations have been demanding the reopening of schools pointing out severe lack of quality in online education, especially in rural areas due to lack of internet connectivity and unavailability of tools. Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday had said that the health department has given the go ahead for reopening of primary classes.

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