Maharashtra education minister says ready to open schools for Classes 5 to 8 from 27 Jan
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, said that schools and colleges in Mumbai will stay shut 'till further orders'
After remaining closed for over 10 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, schools will reopen for Classes 5 to 8 in Maharashtra from January 27, state Education
Minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Friday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, said that schools and colleges in Mumbai will stay shut "till further orders". Schools and junior colleges for Classes 9 to 12 had reopened in parts of the state earlier this month based on the COVID-19 situation in respective areas.
"I have informed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that schools can be reopened for Classes 5 to 8 from 27 January," the minister said. Local authorities including district collectors, municipal commissioners and district civil surgeons will have to assess the ground situation before taking a call on reopening schools and colleges, Gaikwad added.
"Earlier, schools for Classes 9 and 10 commenced after all teachers underwent RT-PCR tests and premises were sanitized. Similar measures will be taken before reopening schools for Classes 5 to 8," she said. The civic body in Mumbai issued a fresh circular stating that all schools and colleges of various mediums will remain shut till further orders in view of a second wave of the virus in other countries and in some states.
Earlier, the BMC had decided to keep all schools and colleges in the city shut till 15 January. Earlier this week, the civic body permitted all the state, national and international boards to conduct their scheduled examinations physically as per the timetable.
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The city clocked 5,335 active COVID-19 cases on 8 February, and the number went up to 7,276 on Sunday, according to the civic body's data
Four school staffers have also tested positive, an official said, adding that the school premises have been declared a containment zone
As Maharashtra sees renewed COVID-19 spike, local authorities impose weekend lockdowns, night curfews
The state government has also decided to approach the Centre for permission to begin the third phase of the vaccination drive earlier than the scheduled date