Covid-19: Ensure necessary arrangements are made before schools reopen, Maharashtra education department tells local bodies

The state education department has asked the civic bodies and zilla parishads across the state to prepare themselves for the reopening of schools for Class 9 to 12 from November 23.

In a letter issued to the authorities on November 17, the department has asked them to ensure that necessary arrangements are made, before schools in the state reopen. This includes providing sanitisers, thermal guns, pulse oximeters etc to schools. Similarly, necessary arrangements are to be made for free Covid-19 testing of school teachers in government-run testing centres, as per the letter.

“In the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for reopening of schools, the responsibilities of local administration are enlisted. All these guidelines with respect to school reopening thus have to be followed,” states the letter.

Officials from the education department said that the civic bodies and zilla parishads would have to provide essentials such as sanitisers to both, private and government schools across the state. There are over 16,000 schools in the Mumbai region alone.

After the education department released SOPs on school reopening, schools had asked the government to provide basic support.

“We are happy the government has decided to take up the responsibility of providing things essential to ensure the safety of students and teachers. We now hope that these things reach all schools,” said Prashant Redij, spokesperson of the Mumbai Principals’ Association.

Mandatory Covid-19 tests for staff, one student per bench in a class and avoiding extracurricular activities like sports, gatherings are a part of the revised SOPs for schools released by the state education department on November 10.

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