February 9, 2021 11:59:42 pm
The number of students reporting to classrooms in Maharashtra is increasing every day amid fears among parents and teachers after 200 students in Kerala tested positive for Covid-19.
More than 95 per cent schools across the state from Class V onwards have started conducting classroom lectures with an average attendance of 40 per cent class strength. But with Covid-19 cases being reported in Kerala, school authorities in Maharashtra now have to strengthen their monitoring systems.
As per the latest data available with the school education department, of the 40,812 secondary schools from Class V onwards where 38,85,106 students are enrolled, 34,996 have reopened as on January 27.
In Pune city, where secondary schools reopened on February 1, 716 of 888 public and private schools have reopened and 35,800 students attended classroom lectures on February 8 alone.
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However, even as the state education department had made RT-PCR tests mandatory for teachers before schools reopened, there is currently no reporting system for suspected cases.
Vishal Solanki, commissioner (education), Maharashtra, said schools have been instructed to inform the local administration in case of a positive Covid-19 report.
“So far, we haven’t had a single case of a teacher or student contracting the disease after schools reopened. Keeping a tab on the situation in every school, especially suspected cases, is nearly impossible. What we have done is issued instructions that if any symptoms are seen, a test be done and if there is a positive report, then the local administration be alerted. They can do the contact tracing and take a call on what needs to be done next. Until now, no case has been reported to us,” said Solanki.
However, taking note of the situation in Kerala, Solanki said that education officers would be reminded again to closely monitor the situation at the ground level in their respective areas.
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