In a much-needed relief to the students who are battling to manage the pandemic and lockdown, the Maharashtra Government has decided to reduce the syllabus from standard 9th to 12th. School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad declared on Friday.

She said the schools were reopened from November 23 almost in 25 districts for 9th and 12th classes by strictly adhering to COVID-19 norms. She added that teachers had undergone RT-PCR tests while schools were disinfected. Already 9,127 schools have been started in about 25 districts with the attendance of 3 lakh students.

Gaikwad admitted that amid coronavirus pandemic the education sector has faced numerous challenges. In order to tackle such a crisis, she said the Government will set up a technology forum to suggest different solutions that can advantage students at large. She further expressed that technology use should be encouraged with increased application of online instruction in the future.

‘’The government has decided to reopen schools gradually taking care of the health of teachers and students. “Online, off-line teaching is being pursued during the present situation. Further, where there is no network, the teachers have reached out to the students. Efforts are on to restart schools in tehsil level,’’ said Gaikwad.

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“So whatever portion is covered in the remaining period, the students will have to appear based on that only. If the schools for 1st to 8th class are reopened in due course of time, the syllabus for them will also be reduced,’’ she noted. ‘’It has been decided to reduce the syllabus so that students do not get stressed,’’ she added.

The minister said the examinations for the 10th and 12th classes, which generally take place in February and March, will be held in April or May because of lockdown. ‘’ However, it is difficult to take the exams online,’’ she noted. Despite the present crisis, education reached 82% of the students through various mediums including online, offline, television, Google, and Wahtsapp.