On June 15, the Maharashtra school education department had released guidelines for physical reopening of schools, allowing the district administrations to open schools for classes 9, 10 and 12 from July. As per the guidelines, the school management committees, along with local administration are allowed to decide if schools should be physically reopened. Although the guidelines contradict the recent order by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which stated that all schools in the country will remain closed until July 31.
Karmavir Vidyalaya in Chandrapur district’s Madheli village which opened on July 6, had almost 15 students, all wearing masks, sitting one each per bench. This is one of the many schools in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts in Maharashtra that have physically reopened this month.
The school in Madheli village has started for only students of classes 9 and 10 for three hours a day. Headmaster Balu Bhoyar said, “In case a child wants to eat lunch, she is allowed to go outside alone and return. We have divided our students into two batches of nearly 15 pupils each. Four teachers cater to the classes based on the timetable.”
While the first day saw 50 percent attendance, it increased to about 85 percent on the second day. No parent will be allowed on premises. For students of other classes, the school launched the ‘Shikshak Vidyarthyancha Dari’ (teacher at students’ doorstep) initiative. As part of this, teachers visit villages to teach children in open spaces, while maintaining distance.
Chandrapur Education Officer Sanjay Dorlikar said that the schools have been following instructions from the district collector and are not aware of MHA guidelines. Over 50 of 2,507 schools in Chandrapur have opened and more are expected to follow suit.
In Gadchiroli district, 170 of the 1,497 schools have opened physically while in Wardha district, over 50 of the 1,513 schools are expected to reopen from July 13. Wardha Education Officer Ulhas Narad said, “On July 6, our collector issued a circular giving a go-ahead to reopen schools based on state government guidelines. Most schools are now preparing to welcome students and will begin classes from Monday. By the end of the next week, more than 100 schools may also reopen physically if conditions are stable.”
Source: The Indian ExpressNews, States