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Mumbai schools reopened today after being shut for over 20 months due to COVID-19 pandemicMumbai: Flowers, attractive decorations and cartoon characters welcomed students back to classes 1 to 7 of civic schools in Mumbai today after being shut for over 20 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.But, some private schools in Mumbai decided to reopen after Christmas holidays, while adopting a cautious stand and citing late communication by authorities.In the morning, many children wearing uniforms and carrying schools bags appeared happy and excited while entering the premises of various civic-run institutions after a long gap.At some schools, the children looked pleasantly surprised on being welcomed by persons dressed up as some of the popular cartoon characters.Students of Class 1 are physically attending the school after almost two years, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.An order to reopen schools in the metropolis had been issued by BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.Earlier, the schools for students of primary and middle sections were supposed to reopen in the first week of December (on December 1 in Pune and on December 4 in Mumbai), but the decision was postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.In Pune, the civic body has decided to reopen schools on Thursday.In Mumbai, various civic schools on Wednesday put up decorations to welcome the students back for physical classes, which were shut since March 2020 following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.The educational institutions geared up for the reopening by completing sanitation of the premises and vaccinating the teaching and non-teaching staff against the viral infection.BMC’s education officer Raju Tadvi said, “All the schools run by BMC are opening from today. We informed all the schools well in advance about the reopening of from today. There has been no change in the decision since December 1.”However, Sanjay Davre, chairman of the MahaMumbai Mukhyadhyapak Sanghatna, an organisation of school principals, said some schools have decided to wait and watch for the next few days, fearing the state education department may change its decision again.”There were some restrictions on gatherings in public places due to which schools are also cautiously looking at the developments. Also, some parents are uncomfortable in sending their children to schools because of concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus,” he said.Some private schools also decided to reopen physical classes after the Christmas vacations.”Schools generally allow long vacation for Christmas. As the state decided to open schools for classes 1 to 7 from December 15 and there was a fear of it being changed at the last minutes, some school managements decided to wait till the Christmas holidays are over and reopen physical classes later,” a senior state education officer said. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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