Students appearing for Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board examinations staged a protest on Sunday at CSMT, Mumbai demanding the state school education department to conduct board examinations via online mode to prevent risks of spread of Covid-19 infection. Students said they should be allowed to appear for board exams from their homes via online mode to ensure their own safety and the safety of their family members and prevent crowding at exam centres.
Johnson Methrie, a HSC Science student said, "If the state school education department can conduct all teaching-learning classes via online for the entire year they can also conduct board exams via online mode. Not all students are fit, even if one student is infected or affected by the coronavirus during offline exams then his or her family is in danger."
Methrie added, "We demand the state school education minister to allow us to appear for board exams from home via online mode in order to prevent risk of spread of Covid-19 and avoid crowding. Also, the board exam paper pattern should be 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent for practicals. The syllabus should be reduced by 50 per cent because many of us received books and study material late due to lockdown restrictions. The academic year was delayed."
Waqi Ur Rehman, another HSC student said, "We should be given both options to appear for board exams via online and offline mode. Secondly, the paper pattern should be 50-50 for theory and practicals."
Waqi added, "The gap between important subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics exam papers should be increased to award more time for preparation. The question bank provided by the state school education department has some questions of the reduced syllabus which does not make sense."
Students said they have been repeatedly demanding the state school education department to conduct SSC and HSC board exams via online mode, provide relaxations and ensure safety of students amidst rising Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Currently, Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister has said that HSC board theory exams will be conducted from April 23 to May 21, 2021 and SSC board theory exams will be conducted from April 29 to May 20, 2021 via offline mode.