Maharashtra is all set to begin the academic session from July, beginning with senior classes. However, schools will be opened only in districts where no coronavirus cases have been found in a month, while in other areas 'online schools' will be functional.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and attended by School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad and officials.
"Physical schools can begin in July after following all due diligence. We have specifically instructed district administration that schools to be opened only in places where cases haven't been found for a month. Also, senior grades to begin first," Gaikwad told News18, adding that in Vidarbha online schools will start from June 26.
According to the circular issued by the government, classes 9, 10 and 12 will resume session from July, while classes for 11th standard will be decided once the admission procedure is completed after class 10 boards results are declared.
Students from classes 6 to 8 will join school in August, for those studying in classes 3 to 5, schools will open in September. The government has asked the school management committees to take a decision on resumption of sessions for children studying in classes 1 and 2.
Gaikwad said the government will use TV platform for education, while taking efforts to rope in Doordarshan and radio for the purpose. "SOPs approved today will be issued in a few days. We don't encourage online classes for pre-primary, for 1st and 2nd grade," Gaikwad said.
"Though in some areas schools could not be opened, the process of teaching cannot be stopped. The use of digital technology to reach out with students should be adopted," the circular said.
"Classes of Standard 1 and 2 are exempted from online teaching. However, for remaining standards certain hours per week have been defined by the government. We are trying to use All India Radio (AIR) network as well to reach out to students with the curriculum," Gaikwad said, adding some of the teaching can be broadcast.
However, some teachers' and principals' unions have demanded that all school in the state open from August.
She later put out a tweet stating the chief minister has approved the resumption of the academic session through online/digital medium from June 15.
मा. उद्धवजी ठाकरे, मुख्यमंत्री यांनी शालेय शिक्षण विभागाच्या VC मध्ये दि.१५ जून २०२० पासून ऑनलाईन / डिजिटल माध्यमातून शैक्षणिक वर्षाची सुरुवात करण्यास मान्यता दिली. सविस्तर मार्गदर्शक सूचना लवकरच कळविण्यात येतील. विद्यार्थी, पालक व शिक्षक यांना शुभेच्छा! @CMOMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/Zes9al57D1— Varsha Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) June 15, 2020