Schools Reopening In Maharashtra decided After Assessing The Situation

Schools Reopening In Maharashtra decided After Assessing The Situation

While the Union Education Ministry has issued guide­ lines to States on the reopen­ ing of schools and colleges from October 15, Maharash­ tra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant on Tuesday said that in the current pandemic sit­ uation in the State it was not conducive to do so.

The Minister hinted that Maharashtra would be reo­ pening schools and colleges only after assessing the CO­ VID­19 situation.

“The decision to open up colleges will have to be based on the current spread of COVID­19 in the State… Maharashtra’s pandemic sit­ uation has not yet normal­ ised. Hence, it will not be ap­ propriate to physically conduct classes,” Mr. Sa­ mant said after a review meeting of preparations for final year exams with the authorities of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). He said that he had directed educational institu­ tions to stop the collection of development fees from stu­ dents as there had been no

physical classes for the last few months.

Stating that the final year examinations would be con­ ducted while taking due care of the health of the students, Mr. Samant said that two­ and­a­half lakh students would be appearing for the final year examinations un­ der the SPPU.

“Of them, two lakh stu­ dents will be taking the ex­ ams online. The rest 50,000

students will be writing the

exams offline,” Mr. Samant said, adding that all provi­ sions had been made to en­ sure that students do not en­ counter any technical problems while taking their exams and that no student would be deprived of the ex­ ams. The disabled students will be get 20 extra minutes to complete their papers.

“For those appearing physically at the 113 exam

centres, zilla parishad and Pune civic body authorities must ensure that the facili­ ties are properly sanitised,” he said.

Mr. Samant further said that practice question pap­ ers would be given from Oc­ tober 8 while a grievance re­ dressal centre would be set up to deal with any problem students might encounter.

However, a number of stu­ dents across the State, espe­ cially in rural areas, are ap­ prehensive about their online exams with several complaining about technical glitches, hall tickets, and power failure among others.

“About 60% of the stu­ dents appearing for the final year examinations are from the rural areas. They face a range of problems from er­ ratic electricity supply to poor range for mobile phones. Already, students appearing for Mumbai Un­ iversity’s final year exams have been bedevilled with poor internet connectivity and power outages with ser­ ver failure and phones hang­ ing in the middle of their ex­ aminations,” student leader Kuldeep Ambekar said.

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