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About 12,000 schools in Maharashtra reopened offline despitegovernment’s order of closure till February 15.

MESTA has claimed that the schools are reopening with 50 per cent capacity, with parents’ approval and following all Covid-19 appropriate protocols. The Maharashtra government had earlier announced to close schools till 15 February.

The founder and president of MESTA, Dr Sanjay Tayade Patil said, “We are starting schools for betterment of students as exams of standard 10 andbstandard 12 are approaching, and they are held offline, it is necessary for students to attend classes offline.”
He also added that the underprivileged students who don’t have android phones are at a major loss. Also, if any action is taken by the task force department, the association will stand firm by the school.

MESTA has asked to reopen schools offline of class 1 to class 10 in rural regions and class 8 to class 12 in all cities of Maharashtra except Mumbai.

The association member schools include schools affiliated to (CBSE) Central Board of Secondary Education, (ICSE) Indian Certificate of Secondary Education along with those affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.

Parents are also in favour of reopening schools, Chaitali Khedkar, mother of class 10 student is worried about her daughter’s board exams as her daughter didn’t go to school, she doesn’t have practice of
writing a three-hour-long paper.

She said, “Children are not able to concentrate with online learning, I am worried how my daughter is going to give the final State board exam offline.”  She also added that her daughter was good at extracurricular activities, dancing and running. Now that schools are closed, she is losing her opportunities.

Vinod Mankar an assistant teacher at Shri Convent said, “Earlier after Diwali when schools reopened offline, we noticed students have not gained the knowledge, we tried to give them online, it is very necessary that schools should start offline for the betterment of students.”
He added, students bluff to their parents too about their classes by saying my teacher’s internet is not working, they gave leave.

The academic year 2021-2022 ends in April for most of the schools, which is about to end in two to three months. With 1860 cases of Omicron in Maharashtra and a total of 2,67,334 active cases it could be difficult to handle Covid situation in coming weeks, this is a current thought going on in the task force department. Review meeting will be held in two to three days.

Director of Shri Convent, Haribhau Warudkar said, “Education is very important, and it becomes difficult to impart it online, along with that it should also be considered that parents deny to pay fees of schools if the school is running online, it is difficult for us to pay salaries of teachers.”

Nagpur district on Tuesday reported 2,407 cases of Covid-19 and city cases were 1,965.

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