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Monday, November 30, 2020

Maharashtra: 50% teaching, non-teaching staff asked to immediately start attending schools 

The department also outlined measures to be followed by schools and faculties to ensure safety against contracting of Covid-19, such as sanitizing premises, using thermal guns, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowds and wiping surfaces of equipment, among others.

Written by Abha Goradia | Mumbai | October 30, 2020 1:48:34 am
mizo schoolSchool Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday said that an inquiry will be conducted if schools are found keeping students away from studies. (Representational)

The state school education department on Thursday issued a notification mandating 50 per cent teaching and non-teaching employees to start attending schools immediately for work related to online and offline teaching, distant learning and tele-counselling.

These directives are to be followed by all government, private aided, private unaided, and all educational institutions being run by trusts, the notification added.

The department also outlined measures to be followed by schools and faculties to ensure safety against contracting of Covid-19, such as sanitizing premises, using thermal guns, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowds and wiping surfaces of equipment, among others.

Brihanmumbai Association of Heads of Secondary And Higher Secondary Schools said the GR is confusing. A statement by the association said, “What steps are to be taken and from when should the teaching and non-teaching staff start attending schools? Given that online education is underway, why should teachers be made to come to schools, and how many of them should come? There is also no clarity regarding Diwali vacation and the provision of funds required for the implementation of this rule. Until clear instructions about these are released, no changes will be made to the current set-up of schools.”

Meanwhile, School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday said that an inquiry will be conducted if schools are found keeping students away from studies. “As per the Right to Education Act, all students must receive an education. Given the impact of a pandemic on parents’ livelihood, parents have been allowed to pay fees in installments. In case a student has not paid fees, the student cannot be removed from online classes. Parents have been encouraged to lodge complaints against schools who do not comply with the instructions,” Gaikwad said in a statement.

Even if the prevalence of Covid in the state is on a decline, the decision on re-opening schools will be taken after Diwali, keeping in mind the health and safety of students, the statement added.

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