In the wake of the recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, Maharashtra Education Minister Uday Samant has announced that the physical classes in the colleges will be discontinued. This decision comes into effect immediately and shall remain in place until February 15, 2022.
Additionally, the minister has announced that the examinations will also be held online keeping in mind the present situation. During this time, the hostels and dormitories will remain closed.
This announcement regarding the closure of physical classes will also be levied to all non-agricultural universities and the private universities and colleges in Maharashtra. Although the hostels will remain shut, the students from foreign countries will be granted permission to stay. They will be provided with all necessary care. Since all exams will be conducted online, in case a student is unable to appear, then they will be provided with adequate help by the respective college or institute so that they don’t miss out on the year.
Furthermore, the colleges have been asked to start student helplines during this difficult phase. At the universities, only 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff will be allowed. As per the order, all higher educational institutions must take care that the vaccination of all students and faculty members is done. However, in case someone has not taken their vaccination dose, then they must share the information with the appropriate authorities for necessary action.
At this point, all educational institutions in Maharashtra are shifting back to online classes. The COVID-19 situation has not only put pressure on the medical system of every state but also on the educational infrastructure. On Tuesday, a meeting was held with various stakeholders to evaluate the situation.
There was a big jump in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state. The cases rose by 51% as a result of which, 18,466 infections were seen on Tuesday. Earlier, the Omicron cases rose to 653. However, most of the cases of this new variant are seen in Mumbai and Thane. As of now, a decision regarding the schools is awaited as there has been no announcement so far. Nonetheless, on Monday, the Mumbai civic body closed all schools in the city till January 31, 2021. In the light of all these happenings, the Maharashtra school education minister has said that the schools in the state may be shut down in case the situation worsens.