Diwali vacation for schools across Maharashtra cut down to 4 days, govt cites delayed start to academic year as reason

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DIWALI VACATION for schools across the state has been cut down to four days, as compared to the usual 18 days. The state school education department on Thursday, through a government notification, announced that the Diwali vacation will be from November 12 to 16.

The vacation has been cut short from the point of view of completing the syllabus in the remaining academic year, which has already suffered a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the notification said.

Schools and junior colleges have been instructed not to conduct any online lecture or examination during the four days.

Even as guidelines for starting online education for students across government schools were released on June 15, inadequate infrastructure to conduct online classes and lack of access to devices among large numbers of students in remote areas have been major challenges in this academic year. Teaching has not been possible online. A decision to physically start schools will be taken after Diwali, said state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad.

Prashant Redij, secretary of Mumbai Principals Association, said it would have been better if the government had not announced a decision on the matter at all. “One can understand that the vacation needs to be cut short due to the Covid situation, but the current period is far too short,” he said.

According to the rules for primary schools, it is mandatory to have 230 work days in an academic year. For Classes I to V, teachers are required to work for a minimum of 200 days in an academic year, whereas for Classes VI to VII, 220 work days are mandatory.

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