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Education department extends Diwali vacation; city schools to reopen on November 22 – Times of India

MUMBAI: Schools in Mumbai not participating in the nation-wide survey of students’ learning achievements can continue their Diwali vacation till November 22, stated an education department circular issued on Wednesday. However, the 292 schools in Mumbai that have been selected for the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 will reopen on Thursday.

The state had curtailed the vacation and directed schools to reopen on Thursday—a day before the survey to be conducted on Friday.

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Across the state, though, confusion over reopening continued till late on Wednesday. Earlier, in a circular dated November 3, the state had left it to schools to adjust the pending Diwali holidays with Christmas or summer vacations. “It made no sense to reopen schools not participating in the survey,” said Shivnath Darade, secretary, Maharashtra Rajya Shikshan Samiti, who was fighting for the Diwali vacation.
With schools being told to ensure 100% attendance for the survey, parents are being pressured to send children to school. In the state, though, schools had reopened for classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and 8 to 12 in urban with parental consent.

For the survey, parents are being told it is mandatory to be in school on Thursday and Friday. “We got a call saying my daughter has to come to school, else it will result in an adverse remark on her academic calendar,” said a parent of a Class 10 student in Bandra. The students have to be in school on Friday from 8am to 3pm. They have to carry their tiffin and water.

The state has permitted students to travel by train for the survey. The person accompanying the student need not be fully vaccinated.

School heads said the response of parents in sending their children to school was poor. “They are refusing to send children to school for just two days,” said a principal, who has to bring in classes 3 and 8.

Selected schools have to gather 30 students for the survey per standard. For instance, a school selected to survey classes 5 and 10 will have to call all the students. Among them, 30 each of the two classes will be randomly selected with chits.

State school education minister Varsha Gaikwad on Wednesday requested schools and parents to participate in the survey and keep Maharashtra on the top in overall ranking. While the survey, in the form of a written test in languages, maths and science, is for 39 lakh students from 1.25 lakh schools in the country, the final number will be known on Friday. UP has the maximum of 15,302 participating schools, followed by MP with 9,499 and Maharashtra 7,330.

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