Statistics released by the state show that 5,947 schools were reopened in 25 of the 35 districts on Thursday. Kolhapur saw the highest attendance with 1,55,784 students in 940 schools on Thursday. In Nanded, 51,115 students participated in 364 schools. Yabatmal has 2,27,610 students in 502 schools. In Aurangabad, 131 schools welcomed 21,599 students. In Pune, 90 schools have opened their gates for 3,505 students.
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The state issued a GR in July, directing COVID-free villages to start offline school year from July 15 for eighth to twelfth grade. A seven-member committee comprising village sarpanch, health officer, revenue officer and school authorities will decide on the reopening of the school. Parental consent was of course.
All the villages in MMR that have been QOID free for a month are reluctant to reopen physical schools because of parental approval to send their children. In a survey conducted earlier this week by the State Council of Educational Research and Training, more than 61 percent of parents agreed to send their children to school offline.
State data shows that none of the 2,150 schools in Thane district can have physical classes. To start offline schools, the villages need to keep Kavid free for a month.
Differences of opinion among education ministers have added to the confusion, village chiefs said. When Congress state education minister Varsha Gaikwad approved the re-introduction of Class XII, Shiv Sena higher education minister Uday Samanta was against the re-introduction of degree colleges. NCP state health minister Rajesh Top also said that the colleges would be reopened later.
The sarpanchs of COVD-free villages did not agree to issue non-objection certificates for starting physical classes. “Parents want to guarantee us that their children will not get Kavid. So the decision to reopen the school is pending, ”said Kasar, a village sarpanch. Last November, when high-class schools reopened, several tribal students tested positive for COVID19. From November to March last year, higher class schools in Thane, Palghar and Mumbai were open. In Mumbai, all schools were closed last year.
Standard operating procedures have to be followed in rural schools, with one student per bench, masks, social distance, a class of 15-20 students, not three to four hours of school per day.