Express News Service

Maharashtra government issued a notification on Tuesday permitting the schools to restart classes for the 5th to 7th standard in rural areas and 8th to 12th standard classes in urban areas from August 17.

Maharashtra Educations Minister Varsha Gaikwad said that they have permitted the schools to restart the classes by following their given Standard Operative Procedures (SOPs).

“In the rural areas, the Covid 19 positive cases have come down drastically, so schools can restart there. They earlier started the higher secondary classes from 8th to 12th standard classes. In urban localities, the higher secondary classes from 8th to 12th standard classes will start from August 17,” Ms Gaikwad said.

School Education Minister further said that Mumbai, Thane and its adjoining metropolitan region’s respective authorities have to make the decision regarding reopening the schools in their respective localities.

However, in the meeting that CM Uddhav Thackeray called last Monday with the health task force, he decided that in Mumbai and it’s extended suburbs like Thane, Navi Mumbai etc, the schools should start only after Diwali.

“The task force advised that local trains will be permitted for common people from August 17, therefore the government should not rush to restart the schools at the same time. This will add more people on road and that can result in spreading the virus speedily. Therefore, the government should take cautious approach for reopening schools in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai etc as these are highly dense localities” said a senior government official who was part of this meeting.

Interestingly, in Maharashtra, the Covid-19 cases are below 5000 per day and there are some districts like Bhandara and Dhule that have got zero active cases now.

“The situation is better, but we cannot drop our guard against the deadly virus. People should continue to wear mask, sanitise their hand etc. The danger is not yet over. We have to prepare for the third wave if it comes. We are setting up oxygen plants at every district civil hospital,” said Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.