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Parents, teachers “welcome” decision to re-open schools

The decision to reopen schools by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the city limits has been welcomed by many parents as well as schools though some have exercised caution.

Most parents noted that even though there is a new strain of the virus, there is no need to worry. It is imperative that children are trained to continue taking all necessary precautions while they are out.

Manasi Joshi, a parent from the city said that it is great that the schools are reopening.

“Though online teaching is going on, the children are now tired of attending school from home. Reopening schools is a good decision. These kids are young and active and they have been at home since March. It is only fair to let them attend the schools,” Joshi said.

While talking about the new strain of the virus, Joshi said that social distancing, masks and hand hygiene are a must, but that should not limit children from going to school.

“Covid is here to stay. Children should be trained to remain safe. Schools will also be taking all necessary precautions. So, I think children should be sent back to school,” she said.

The PMC on Thursday announced that schools in Pune will reopen from January 4. As per the order, class 9 to 12 will reopen in the first phase.

Sharing similar views, Archana Kakade, another parent from Pune said that there is risk but along with children, schools also need to take precautions.

“The odd even rule is a good rule which can help maintain social distancing. If that is strictly implemented I don’t see why parents would hesitate to send children to school. All necessary precautions will be taken on a regular basis. Children also now know the importance of wearing masks and using sanitizers,” Kakade said.

Avinash Takawale, principal of Saraswati Mandir also welcomed the move by the PMC.

“The decision is welcomed. We have been taking online classes, and we will continue teaching children with all necessary precautions and safety measures,” said Takawale.

Shakuntala Kale, chairperson of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education said that once the schools are reopened it is up to the schools to finish the syllabus.

“The board is responsible for the examination. Once the schools reopen, the syllabus and practicals will be a decision that schools will be taking,” Kale said.

Aneeta Salunkhe, Pune city president of teachers association said that teachers will follow all required Covid Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“The teachers are asked to come to school from December 28. We will be taking all required precautionary measures and accordingly get tested as well. We have a week in hand but we are very keen to reopen school,” Salunkhe said.

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ZP teachers test positive for Covid

A total of 17 Zilla Parishad (ZP) teachers in Purandar taluka had tested positive for Covid in antigen test, said officials. The district authorities noted that teachers have mild symptoms. These teachers were teaching class 5 to class 8. These teachers have not come in contact with students, according to authorities.

*In November, 35 teachers tested positive of the 1,150 from rural parts of Pune before schools reopened for class 9 to class 12.

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