Updated: August 7, 2021 6:26:12 pm
State School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad announced on Friday evening that schools in both rural and urban areas will reopen on August 17.
Offline classes will commence in rural areas for students from Class 5 to Class 8, while city schools will open for students from Class 8 to Class 12 after adherence with Covid-19 protocols.
Schools in rural areas have been open for Class 8 to 12 since July 27. Department sources said that due to the positive response from schools, parents and students on the re-opening of schools for higher classes, and given the drop in Covid-19 cases, it has been decided to cautiously open up schools for offline classes further.
According to data obtained from the Maharashtra State Council for Education, Research and Training (SCERT), one in every three schools in rural areas has been open since July 27 for Classes 8 to 12. That’s the latest figure available with the Maharashtra School Education Department, which is now contemplating opening up of schools for younger students as well.
There are a total of 36,835 schools and junior colleges in Maharashtra with nearly 86,33,805 students between Class 8 to 12. Of the total number of schools, 34.55 per cent or 12,725 schools have reopened and more than 8,98,894 students have returned to classrooms, said Vikas Garad, deputy director, SCERT.
Among all the divisions, Nanded district in Latur Division has seen the best response as 89 per cent schools have reopened and 64 per cent students are attending school physically, while Nandurbar district in Nashik division has reported 94 per cent schools reopening and 47 per cent students attending school.
While data is not available for Ahmednagar district in Pune Division, the numbers for Pune district are quite low. The district has seen 12.78 per cent schools reopening, 121 of 947, and of a total student strength of 2,40,394, only 7,034 students are attending school physically.
Even as the number of school students returning to classrooms increases day by day, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students are yet to return to campus, with colleges and universities still shut for offline classes.
A couple of days ago, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant announced that he has asked the directors of Higher and Technical Education Department to meet the vice-chancellors of universities, local disaster management authorities and district collectors, and submit a report on reopening of degree colleges.
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