The Maharashtra government has come up with a decision to reopen schools in areas where not even a single case of COVID-19 has been reported over the last month. Minister of School Education Department Varsha Gaikwad informed that the schools have been allowed to resume offline classes for students from Classes 8 to 12 starting July 15.
"While we continue to promote remote learning and online education, we are also working towards a safe resumption of schools in corona-free villages. It has become a need of the hour to have a co-educational approach to reach out to the children of the last strata of the state," said Gaikwad while sharing the government order.
Further sharing the order on her social media handle, Gaikwad asserted that all teachers and staff members need to be vaccinated before the reopening of schools. Considering the possibility of a third wave, Gaikwad ordered that it is mandatory for all schools to strictly abide by the coronavirus prevention rules laid down by the state government. She also warned that any kind of negligence by the recognised schools will not be tolerated.
Giving an update on the COVID-19 prevention rules at village level, the minister notified that an eight-member committee will be formed to take a final call on COVID-free zones. In rural areas, the committee will be led by the head of the gram panchayat and will comprise collectors, school principals, and health officials.
Additionally, a committee will also be designed at the district level where schools will have to get a green signal from the board before reopening. The order finally states that the schools will have to follow all COVID standard operating procedures (SOP) and also conduct timely temperature checks of students when on campus.
Yesterday, on 7 July, Maharashtra reported 9,558 new coronavirus cases and 147 fatalities which have taken the stats of infections to 61,22,893 and the death toll to 1,23,857.