Maharashtra schools take Christmas break as govt order yet to come

Teachers of state-run schools said there is just one day left for the Christmas festival but, the Maharashtra government and state school education department has not released any circular or notice declaring Christmas vacation yet. Many schools have independently declared winter break of seven to five working days wherein online classes will not be conducted specifically on December 25 and January 1 on account of Christmas festival and New Year.

Teachers of state-run schools have been repeatedly demanding Christmas holidays from the state government citing a break from ongoing online education is much-needed. During every academic cycle, teachers get at least 10 days off as part of Christmas vacation or winter break from December 23 or 24 to January 2 or 3. But this year, due to lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers have been continuing regular online classes.

Jashodha Saini, a teacher said, "The winter break is much-needed as we have been conducting online classes every day from the start of this academic year." While, Matthew D'Mello, another teacher said, "Christmas is an important festival for both students and teachers of the Christian community. We have the right to take a breather from daily work and spend some festive time with family and friends."

Weary of waiting for an announcement regarding Christmas vacation or winter break from the state government, schools have independently declared holidays. Prashant Redij, secretary of the Mumbai Principals Association, said, "The convent and Christian schools have declared Christmas vacation starting from December 25 to January 1 stating no online classes will be conducted during this period. While, some schools have declared holidays only on December 25 and January 1 on account of Christmas and New Year."

Rajesh Pandya, a senior teacher and vice-president of Teachers Democratic Front (TDF), said, "Many schools have declared a winter break of seven working days starting from December 24 till January 3. Schools will restart online education via virtual classes from January 4, 2021."

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Free Press Journal