With the possibility of a second wave in view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday announced that schools in Mumbai will remain closed till December 31.
The decision comes in the wake of State government’s recent announcement to open schools for students of classes IX to XII from November 23. State Education minister Varsha Gaikwad on Friday said the local authorities in all districts would take a decision on reopening of schools in their respective areas after assessing the pandemic situation there.
“Local officials, such as municipal commissioners, district collectors, block development officers in Zilla Parishads and education officers, will have to discuss the situation in their respective areas and reopen the schools accordingly,” Ms. Gaikwad said.
She added that even if the schools do not reopen, the students can still attend the online classes and learn. “I have given necessary instructions to the officials concerned,” she said.
The BMC issued a notification on Friday saying the possibility of a second coronavirus wave cannot be denied considering the similar pattern in different countries as well as in other States. “The next four to six weeks should be observed with special care. As a result schools will not start from November 23 and instead schools will remain closed till December 31,” said the notification. It added that supplementary examinations for students of Class X and XII will take place as planned.
After recording 409 new coronavirus cases on November 16, the lowest daily count since April, Mumbai registered 541, 871, 924 and 1,031 fresh infections on November 17, 18, 19 and 20 respectively.
Meanwhile, the education department clarified that schools in other parts of the State could reopen from November 23, as announced recently, subject to the decision by the local administration.
Thane to follow
Meanwhile, Thane Collector Rajesh Narvekar announced that the schools in the district will remain closed till December 31. Earlier, the schools were supposed to start from November 23.
Following the announcement by Thane district, the Raigad guardian Minister Aditi Tatkare also announced the same for schools under Panvel Municipal Corporation. Meanwhile, Raigad Collector Nidhi Choudhary clarified, “Only Panvel Municipal Corporation in Raigad has decided to postpone the reopening. No other schools in Raigad are restricted,” Raigad Collector said.
(With inputs from Raina Assainar)