Contradictory government resolutions on Ganpati holidays leave Mumbai schools baffled

The confusion surrounding Ganesh festival holidays in schools just took another sad turn with the Maharashtra education department releasing two contradictory government resolutions (GRs) on the same day.

While one clearly states that schools can declare holidays for Ganesh festival after the consent of PTA and ensure that the school is not functional during state/national holidays, another GR announces that schools can conduct the compulsory competency tests for students between September 14-25.

"If one GR clearly mentions that state and national holidays should be spared, how can another GR mention exam dates in the same period? In Maharashtra, Ganesh festival is celebrated widely and many students will end up missing school during the festival, so will they end up missing the competency tests?" asked Uday Nare, senior staff at Hansraj Morarji School in Andheri (W).

On Tuesday, state education minister Vinod Tawde had announced that schools can decide on number of holidays with consultation with their Parent-Teachers' Association (PTA) for Ganesh festival. "Once the school gets a confirmation from their PTA, they can decide on the number of holidays. Schools conducting exams in that period can decide whether exams have to be held or can be postponed," said Tawde.

Schools are now worried on how to conduct the competency test -- the latest test introduced by the state government for students of classes II to VIII to test their knowledge and understanding of first language and maths subjects from the previous academic year -- with institutes having decided on staying officially shut between September 17-21.

"We are once again confused and hope the state government will bring in some clarity to this predicament," said the principal of a south Mumbai school.

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