– Dipta Joshi
The Maharashtra school education department has asked all schools within the state to extend the current academic year (2022-23) until mid-April to ensure completion of the syllabus. However, schools as well as parents are demanding the department rescind the order since most schools have already declared dates for their final exams as also the last date of their academic calendar.
The department believes school closures due to the second and third wave of COVID have resulted in schools being unable to complete their syllabus and require more time to ensure students don’t suffer a setback in their studies.
The state’s school education department issued a circular dated March 24 which asks all schools to conduct full day offline classes on Saturdays and further permits them to hold classes (voluntarily) on Sundays too during April. The government circular is applicable to all educational boards within the state.
The circular also suggests schools conduct their final exams for classes I-IX and class XI in the third week of April while declaring results in May this year. The suggestion is, however, contrary to the timetable set by schools, most of which have either conducted exams for some or all their classes or plan to hold their final exams once the class X board exams are over on April 7.
School teachers, principals and parents, especially those associated with state board schools have opposed the circular saying the department’s diktat has come a tad too late. State board schools typically declare exam results by April end, resuming summer holidays May 1 onwards until June 15.
While parents are complaining they have already planned and booked tickets for vacations, teachers too are demanding their much-needed break at the earliest. Teachers have been managing online classes during school closures and hybrid classes (online as well as offline classes) since schools were permitted to resume offline classes January 24 onwards.
Several state wide teachers’ and principals’ associations have written to the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad pointing out how stressed teachers and schools have been trying to provide uninterrupted education all throughout the pandemic. The associations have asked the order be withdrawn to avoid further confusion amongst schools.
“The government need not interfere in the examination timetable of the schools because each time it tries to micro manage the running of schools, it creates confusion. State board affiliated schools have been able to conduct the class X and XII board exams without trouble and are well capable of designing their academic calendars. If at all, the government had to come out with an order regarding exam dates, it should have released the order much earlier in February,” says Mahendra Ganpule, speaker and ex-president, principal’s association, Pune district.News, States