Mumbai School Principals React To Shift In School Timings By Maharashtra Government

Mumbai School Principals React To Shift In School Timings By Maharashtra Government

Maharashtra Government Considers Later School Start Times for Young Children

Krisha V BhattUpdated: Wednesday, December 20, 2023, 09:08 PM IST
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In a noteworthy development, the Maharashtra government has announced a significant shift in school timings for classes up to 2nd grade, proposing a start time after 9 am.

To spearhead this initiative, the government has constituted a committee of experts entrusted with making recommendations. The rationale behind this proposal lies in the belief that children require adequate sleep and should not be compelled to sleep early.

State School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar emphasized that the government would make a decision based on the committee's report, with the anticipated implementation in the next academic year. This move follows a recommendation from Governor Ramesh Bais, prompting a reassessment of school timings.

According to Minister Kesarkar, the emerging segment of pre-primary education, encompassing nursery, junior KG, senior KG, Class 1, and Class 2, is the focus of this initiative.

The objective is to ensure that students do not have to wake up excessively early, prioritizing their need for sufficient sleep. The committee, comprising expert pediatricians, is tasked with suggesting essential measures to achieve this goal.

Governor Bais highlighted the changing sleep patterns in recent times, especially among children who stay awake late into the night but have to rise early for school. Advocating for a change in school timings, he urged the state government to consider the proposal.

Minister Kesarkar acknowledged the validity of the concerns raised but underscored the need for careful consideration. Shifting the timings from 7am to 9am would allow children to get proper sleep, a decision that would be applicable to schools of all boards starting from the next academic year.

In seeking perspectives from the education community, The Free Press Journal reached out to school principals to understand the potential impact of this shift. 

"It's a promising idea and I support it, it is important for young children to have more sleep, " remarked Sr. Flory Fargose, Principal of St. Anne's High School, Fort. 

"But managing varied school timings could be challenging for parents who have more than one children," she added. 

Principal Nutan Iyer from Diamond Jubilee High School, Mazgoan, expressed concerns, stating, "For working parents, a 9am school time could pose difficulties. Additionally, kids might become accustomed to waking up late and will be difficult for them after they pass Grade 2 to cope up with timings."

Ms. Linda D'costa, the Principal of St. Joseph High School in Andheri West, expressed her belief that the revised timings will be advantageous for the students.

"If the government thinks it will be beneficial, they have done their research and students do need more sleep to study better," she said.

"It will not only be good for the young students but also it will be great for the parents as well because even they can have adequate sleep n the morning and not wake up too early for the child's school," expressed Mrs. Shaikh Talat Ara Nasiruddin, Principal of Anjuman-I-Islam's Saif Tyabji Girls' Pre-Primary & Primary School, Mumbai Central.

"It might be tough to transition into this new routine for the teachers and school management because of the years and years of habit of starting school early, but in the longer run it is beneficial for all," she added

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