June 1, 2020 2:00:35 am
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the academic year for schools in the state will commence in June and both offline and online options should be used for it. Thackeray also approved the use of online platforms, such as Google Classroom, for teaching as the country enters the fifth phase of the lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The academic year must start from June. Schools should be started, wherever possible, with proper healthcare. Education should start even through the online medium,” Thackeray said at a review meeting held with the school education department.
He also stressed on the need to strengthen online education system in the state. “At present, Google Classroom can be used,” he said, adding that an independent computer-based system should be developed in the coming days.
“Education should start with all possible methods… Students should not lose their academic year. If there are internet connectivity issues in remote areas, which are unaffected by Covid-19, schools should start by following social distancing norms. If it is difficult to start schools in some places, then alternative options should be used. But education should not stop,” said Thackeray.
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The meeting was attended by School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, Additional Chief Secretary Vandana Krishna, scientist Raghunath Mashelkar, educational experts among others.
“The government is preparing the standard operating procedure for the schools based on the inputs from educational experts, officials and guardians,” said Gaikwad. “The preparation to provide education through online medium or Television and radio have been completed. The government has planned to provide books to school students by June 15,” Gaikwad added.
Krishna said that Google was ready to provide online classroom services free of cost to the school education department. “The department has prepared a plan to resume schools in a phase wise manner. It has suggested reducing festival holidays to complete the syllabus and also extend the academic year till May,” added Krishna.
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