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Schools in Maharashtra to have a five-day work week

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

From the ensuing academic year 2015-2016, schools in Maharashtra will be able to opt for a five-day working week, the state government said on Wednesday.

The relevant orders were issued to the concerned academic authorities after long discussions with the Maharashtra Education Secretary Nand Kumar.

According to Shikshak Bharati president and Congress legislator Kapil Patil, the move applies to all private and government run primary and secondary schools across the state.

“The decks have been cleared for all schools to plan out a five-day working week on a voluntary basis without violating the provisions of Right To Education Act.

Following the decision, secondary school sections (Class VI-X) would work from 7 a.m.-12.30 p.m., while primary sections (Class I-V) would function from 1-5.30 p.m., well within the RTE norms”, he said.

Since the schools have already closed for summer vacations now, it will be applicable from the next academic year starting June,” Patil told a news agency.

Following the decision, the students, parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and managements will undergo less stress and tensions.

Speaking on further benefits of the move, Patil said, “This will prove a boon for schools in cities like Mumbai, where teachers, non-teaching staffers and students have to commute long distances by suburban trains or school buses and drastically reduce stress levels which would benefit all stake-holders.

It would also release the weekends for extra-curricular activities by the students and the school premises can be utilised for other productive purposes”, he said.

Shikshak Bharati had been campaigning since long for a five-day working week for schools in the state as it could have several long term academic and extra-curricular benefits, he added.

Senior office-bearer of Shikshak Bharati Subhash More, who joined Patil in the discussions, said the existing six-days working week followed by most schools with up to two eight-hour shifts was like a jail sentence for the students and teachers, but now the situation would change drastically.

Patil and More also explained how the RTE Act, 2011 did not in any manner hamper the decision of a five-day working week.

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World Class Zoo Worth Rs 500 Cr to Come Up in Mumbai

The proposed site in Aarey Milk Colony was inspected by a CZA team in 2014 which recently gave its clearance

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World, Zoo, Mumbai
The zoo, estimated to cost around Rs 500 crore. Pixabay

An ultra-modern zoo of global standards, spread across 100 acres, is expected to come up in the lush green environs in the suburban Goregaon in Maharashtra, officials said here on Wednesday.

The zoo, estimated to cost around Rs 500 crore, will have a host of unseen wild animals, trails and jungle safaris, nature education centre, a separate breeding centre and other facilities as per guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

The proposed site in Aarey Milk Colony was inspected by a CZA team in 2014 which recently gave its clearance, and the new zoo will be virtually adjacent to two tourism centres like the famed Film City and nearby the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

On Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Maharashtra Forest Department and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) whereby 100 acres of the 190-acre government land will be given for setting up the zoo.

World, Zoo, Mumbai
An ultra-modern zoo of global standards, spread across 100 acres, is expected to come up in the lush green environs in the suburban Goregaon in Maharashtra. Pixabay

The BMC will soon appoint a project management consultant and prepare a comprehensive master plan for the zoo which will be executed from its own resources. However, the net revenues shall be shared by the civic body and the forest department.

The MoU documents were signed and exchanged in the presence of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

As per the MoU, the forest department will provide technical expertise in procuring various animals for the zoo and other facilities which would showcase the rich biodiversity of the state and the country.

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Since there is no space to expand the existing 50-acre zoo in Byculla, an alternative site inside the Aarey Milk Colony was explored. (IANS)