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Schools in Mumbai to remain shut till December 31

Mumbai schools shut despite permission to reopen for classes 5-8

January 16, 2021
-Dipta Joshi

While schools across Maharashtra will begin physical classes for grades 5-8 from January 27, reopening of schools in Mumbai remains uncertain with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) extending the closure of schools within the city’s municipal limits from January 16 until further notice.

The decision to reopen schools for grades 5-8 was announced by the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad late Friday evening after a meeting with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The decision however, remains subject to approvals from the local administrative authorities and parents. Schools will be required to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as a preventive measure against the current COVID-19 contagion with teachers undergoing the RT-PCR tests.    

The state education department has opted for a phase-wise reopening of schools since closure of all educational institutions in March 2020 in view of the pandemic. While classes for grades 9-12 reopened on November 23 last year, schools in Mumbai have remained shut in keeping with the BMC’s orders. The BMC’s latest order (January 15) states, “While cases of COVID-19 is in control in the city, considering the growing number of COVID-19 cases in other parts of the world and the risks involved, it has been decided to keep the city’s schools shut until further notice.”  

Disappointed with the decision to extend schools closure, the Mumbai Principal’s Association has urged the authorities to reopen classes for grades 9-12 at the earliest to help students prepare for their board exams.

The latest order however, will not impact BMC’s earlier circular (January 12) allowing the city’s schools to conduct offline pre-boards and boards exams for all boards – the Maharashtra state board as well as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the CAIE (Cambridge).

Also read: 

BMC permits Mumbai’s schools to hold offline exams

School reopening status across states

School reopening status across the world

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