Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has more than 30 lakh students who will appear for their HSC and SSC exams across the state. The state has announced HSC and SSC exams will begin on April 23 and 29, respectively.
Following the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state and the delayed reopening of schools in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, though, teachers and parents had demanded the board consider an online format for the exams or allow schools to conduct these at their level.
Varsha Gaikwad, minister for school education, told media persons how holding an online exam is difficult across the state simultaneously at a particular time. While citing a few reasons, the minister said the board is preparing for offline exams. Considering the large number of students, it is difficult to conduct online exams at a time across the state and could lead to a further delay in starting a new academic year. Gaikwad added it will not be possible to hold online exams before September 2021, in case it decides on that format.
Dinkar Patil, chairperson of the state board, too, said an online format might not be feasible for its large number of students and their demographics. “A lot of our students are in rural parts of the state, making it nearly impossible for us to conduct an online exam. We are still two months away and hope the situation around Covid-19 will improve. Meanwhile, we have started preparation for the offline examinations and will take measures to ensure that students’ safety is our top priority,” he said.
Patil added students must not believe any rumours about exams and wait for instructions from their school or the board. “There are a lot of rumours about the format of the exams but students must focus on studying right now. Closer to the exam dates, we will review the Covid-19 situation and make appropriate changes to the format and issue guidelines,” he said.
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