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Madhya Pradesh: Manasa schools junk government directive on closure, keep Classes I-VIII open

07:00 PM Jan 23, 2021 | FP News Service

MANASA: Making a mockery of the government’s orders to keep schools closed for students of Classes I to VIII till March 2021, many government schools in Manasa tehsil of Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh were found conducting classes for students from precisely those grades.

The entire matter came to light during an official visit of the Manasa sub-divisional magistrate, Manish Jain, to the tehsil. SDM Jain visited Achalapura and Nalkheda villages in the tehsil on Thursday and saw school students attending classes on the school premises under the open sky. At one school, SDM Jain caught one school teacher using Facebook on his mobile phone, while another school teacher was found taking a nap inside the classroom in front of the students.

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Students studying under open sky in Manasa tehsil of Neemuch district

Notably, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to keep schools for students of Classes I-VIII closed till March 2021 in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Even the district project coordinator (DPC), on January 20, had issued orders asking schools to keep Classes I-VIII closed, while classes Class IX-XII were allowed to remain open following Covid-19 directives.

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In the order, it was mentioned that a few schools were private constantly ignoring the government’s orders and conducting classes for students from Classes I-VIII, which is not good for the children’s health under the current circumstances. So, they will be directed not to conduct any classes until further orders from the higher authorities.

Order issued by district project coordinator recently

When Free Press contacted SDM Jain, he said it was not in his knowledge whether the children had been called to school or not. Jain, who was unaware about the government’s orders, initially said that students were attending classes under the open sky and there was no harm in that. But, when he was made aware of the fact that the government had ordered the teachers of government schools to run only mohalla classes, Jain immediately said it was the government teachers’ fault and that relevant action would be taken against those who had called the students to attend classes.

SDM Jain added that they would take action against teachers using Facebook or taking a nap in classrooms. When contacted, block resource coordinator BL Baser, initially, tried to defend teachers who had been found using Facebook or taking a nap in the classroom, saying they were busy doing some school-related work on their mobiles. Meanwhile, when Free Press told him that the teachers had been caught red-handed by none other than the SDM during a school visit, Baser immediately admitted the teachers’ fault and said relevant action would be taken in the matter.

An attempt to contact the district education officer, CS Sharma, failed after repeated attempts as he did not pick up the phone or reply to messages. When contacted, district collector Jitendra Singh Raje assured Free Press that he would look into the matter.

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