The state has reduced holidays and ordered schools to reopen on Thursday, a day before the survey was to be conducted on Friday.
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Across the state, however, confusion over the reopening continued deep into Wednesday. Earlier, in a circular dated November 3, the state had left the pending Diwali holidays in schools to coincide with the Christmas or summer holidays. “There is no point in reopening schools that did not take part in the survey,” said Shivnath Darade, secretary of the Maharashtra State Education Association, which is fighting for the Diwali holiday. Schools have been asked to ensure 100% attendance for the survey, with parents being pressured to send their children to school. In the state, however, schools from class 5 to 12 in rural areas and classes 8 to 12 in urban areas have been reopened with the consent of parents.
Parents are being told to stay in school on Thursdays and Fridays for the survey. “We received a call that my daughter should come to school, otherwise it would be a negative comment on her academic calendar,” said a parent of a 10th grader in Bandra. Students must be at school on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have to carry tiffin and water.
The state has allowed students to travel by train for the survey. The person with the student does not need to be fully vaccinated.
School principals said parents’ response to sending their children to school was poor. “They’re just refusing to send the kids to school for two days,” said one principal, who has to bring classes 3 and 8.
Selected schools must recruit 30 students for each standard survey. For example, a school selected for the Class 5 and 10 survey should call all students. Among them, 30 of the two classes will be randomly selected with cheats.
State School Education Minister Barsha Gaikwad on Wednesday requested the schools and parents to take part in the survey and place Maharashtra at the top of the overall rankings. Although the survey was conducted in the form of written tests for language, mathematics and science for 39 lakh students in 1.25 lakh schools of the country, the final number will be known on Friday. UP has the highest number of 15,302 participating schools, followed by MP at 9,499 and Maharashtra at 7,330.
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