Teachers, students in jeopardy due to no coordination between state and BMC education department: Schools

Following the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Education Department's decision for schools in Mumbai to remain shut offline until further notice, school principals and teachers have demanded a tentative timeline for reopening of practical lectures for board students.

School authorities said there is no coordination between the Maharashtra state school education ministry and the BMC education department because the state had announced the reopening of schools offline in Maharashtra for Standard 5 to 8 from January 27, on Friday while, the civic education department has directed all schools in Mumbai to remain shut offline until further notice.

State-board schools said they have three to four months left as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Class 12 board exams as they are scheduled to be conducted post April 15 and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Class 10 after May 1, 2021. Principals and teachers of state-run schools said the BMC education department should grant them permission as they need to reopen offline at least for Classes 10 and 12 in terms of practicals and laboratory lectures before board exams.

Latha Venkat, Principal of KGS Sarvodaya Balika Vidyalaya, Malad (west) said, "We had done all preparations with back to back virtual meetings with parents hoping to reopen schools offline starting from January 18. But now, the last minute direction of the BMC education department has stalled all our preparedness and planning. Teachers will have to bear the brunt of completing the syllabus and explaining concepts in a rush if reopening of offline lectures for Classes 10 and 12 is delayed further."

Prasoonjit Singh, a teacher of a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) school said, "There is a lot of confusion because on one side the state school education minister has announced reopening of schools offline in Maharashtra from Standard 9 to 12 and, Standard 5 to 8 from January 27. But on the contrary, the BMC education department has directed all schools in Mumbai to remain shut offline. Is Mumbai not a part of Maharashtra? Schools in Mumbai need to reopen practical and laboratory lectures offline as board exams of Classes 10 and 12 are soon approaching."

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