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Schools may reopen in Maharashtra from June 15 in a 'phased manner'

Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has hinted that schools may gradually reopen and officials are expected to provide new SOPs (standard operating procedures) to schools to strictly follow.

Schools may reopen in Maharashtra from June 15 in a 'phased manner'
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State School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has hinted that schools may gradually begin to reopen starting June 15. However, in places like Vidarbha, the government will reopen schools from June 26, 2020. This move will be initiated in non-red zones first in a phased manner. The state has earmarked 19 cities as red zones including Mumbai, Pune, Thane, and Nagpur. As for schools reopening in Mumbai, the minister added that it may take some time yet as the situation needs to improve in the region.

The government is expected to provide new SOPs (standard operating procedures) to schools that are allowed to reopen in June. This will include the cutdown of social activity in the playgrounds to maintain social distancing among pupils and ultimately ensure that the students and teachers are safe.

The State School Education Minister said, “Maintaining social distancing is the key. The option of pairing students with odd roll numbers and calling them in the first shift and the ones with even roll numbers in the second shift is being considered. Another option is to call a batch of class students every alternate day.”

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It is said that schools that reopen soon will be completely different from the past. One of the biggest changes here will be the seating of just one student in a desk. Additionally, toilets will be disinfected twice per day while classrooms will be disinfected daily.  

The minister added that they are also examining the possibility of holding outdoor classes to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. It has been proposed that the Diwali vacation calendar may be shorted in order to make up for the lost school time. 

While a majority of the students in metropolitan cities are currently undertaking e-classes from home, this is a privilege that not many students can afford, particularly those living in the rural regions of Maharashtra. Keeping this in mind, a safe and efficient reopening is the only way to make sure these children aren’t left behind. 

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