Govt issues guidelines for reopening of schools; fully vaccinated staff mandatory

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The Maharashtra state government’s education department announced reopening of schools for Class 1-4 from December 1. 
Varsha Gaikwad, minister for education informed the guidelines to be followed by school so that all students get equal access to education. “We are happy to welcome students from Std 1 #BackToSchool onwards on Dec 1. Safe resumption of schools is being considered to ensure all students have equal access to education amidst the pandemic,” said state minister for education, Varsha Gaikwad. 

New Guidelines for reopening of Schools in Maharashtra :
Usage of masks will be mandatory for children at all times. Teachers and school staff to ensure strict compliance to masking up.

For the safety of the staff & students, vaccination has been made mandatory for teachers/staff. Only fully vaccinated staff will be allowed in premises. School transport operators also must be fully vaccinated. 

Consent of parents is paramount. Parents will have final say on physical presence of their wards, attendance norms have been relaxed. #BackToSchool

Schools to work in shifts/alternate days as the case may be to ensure only 15-20 students are present in class at a given time. One student will be seated per bench; distance of 6 ft between benches.

School hours to be limited to 3-4 hours per day. No cultural or sporting events requiring a gathering will be permitted in schools. Schools to provide isolation facilities and to tie up with local health department for any emergency situation.

In the event of sickness of the student or a family member, the student is advised to stay at home. It will be the responsibility of the school to ensure such a student’s learning gap is compensated by the school. 
The focus in the first two weeks of school reopening will be to acclimatise and re-orient students towards attending physical classes. Schools to ease students into regular coursework. 

The government is sensitive to the possibility of a third wave and no laxity in implementation of SOPs will be permitted. Our students are our future. Let us all come together to ensure their health, wellbeing and continued education. 

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