Updated: February 3, 2021 12:55:47 am
As the number of secondary school students attending classroom lectures are going up day by day, with schools across Maharashtra having resumed classes for students of Class V onwards, the Higher and Technical Education department is coming under fire for delaying reopening classrooms for graduate and post-graduate students.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari met Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant over this issue on Sunday, following which the minister met vice-chancellors of non-agricultural universities across the state on Monday and asked them to come up with plans to resume and begin preparations on campus. Even as the minister has promised to make an announcement within the next couple of days, a students’ organisation organised protests outside several college campuses to demand reopening of universities and colleges. In one location, members of the organisation were even detained by the police for creating a ruckus.
Meanwhile, at the state-wide consultation meeting, V-Cs expressed their concern over the growing pressure from student organisations, parents and even colleges to resume physical classes.
“The minister took stock of the situation and said he will meet with the disaster management authority. He has asked vice-chancellors to talk with staff and stakeholders and also review the hostel situation. We have many outstation students coming in. Earlier, three students shared a room but as per new norms in the Covid-19 situation, single occupancy is to be given. So we have to see how things can be managed…,” said Dr Nitin Karmalkar, vice-chancellor of the Savitribai Phule Pune University.
Another senior official who attended the meeting said that most V-Cs suggested dual mode of classes, both online and offline, especially given the hostel situation. However, there was also a concern that conducting classes in dual mode would add to the burden of teachers, whose opinion is now being sought. The academicians suggested resuming offline classes by first conducting practicals for undergraduate and post-graduate students.
School attendance climbs daily
Meanwhile, in Pune city where schools started classroom lessons for students from Class V to VIII from Monday, nearly 50 per cent schools reopened by Day 2. According to PMC officials, 476 of 948 private and civic-run secondary schools reopened by February 2, with 11,801 of 81,727 students attending schools.
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