The state's politicians have picked up cudgels for night schools in the city that the Maharashtra government plans to pull the plug on.

The night schools, a ray of hope for people who want to work during the day but also complete their education, have supported many who have struggled on different levels in life but never quit on education.

Congress politician Narayan Rane, Minister of State for Social Justice, Dilip Kamble and MLA Kapil Patil met with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. This meeting was called after the government decided, on 17 May, to shut down all the night schools in the state. Rane and Kamble urged the chief minister to not shut down night schools as they’ve been a significant part of the educational system for the last 150 years and the two of them have been a part of that system as well.

Patil gave Mumbai Live some insight into night schools. In Maharashtra, there are around 176 night schools. Of these, 150 night schools and junior colleges are present in Mumbai alone. The state government wants to cut costs and around 1010 teachers are to be relieved of their duties shortly. The night schools are to be shut down and free education is to be provided in day schools which will be set up. This decision taken by the government could prove to be discouraging for the people who are working hard during the day and trying to learn during the night. The chief minister will take a final decision in a few days, it is learnt.

The state teachers' association has taken a stand against this decision to shut down the night schools. An estimated Rs 34.50 crore is spent on night schools in the state. The schools which will be started instead of night schools will provide free education and books to the students in need, Students who cannot attend school have an option to attend school just to take tests.

Could this be an end of an era? Night schools have always had an emotional spot in everybody’s hearts as we’ve heard inspirational stories of people struggling and working hard just to educate themselves

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