Maharashtra Board exams for SSC and HSC will take place offline, said state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad.
The students will have to physically go to the exam centres to appear for it.
“Conducting practicals in school has been tough this year and therefore we've decided that students need to be given a concession here. That is why, to start with, we've decided to do away with science practical exams for SSC, replacing them with internal assignments," she said.
The schools of the students will be their exam centres. Apart from the regular three-hour period of the exam, they will get extra half an hour to attempt the questions," she said.
The examination dates have already been announced and practical exams will be held once the written tests are over, Gaikwad added.
The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam will be conducted between April 23 and May 21, while the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam will be held between April 29 and May 20, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) announced last month.
These board exams are usually held in February and March, but this year their schedule has been changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the MMR region, we are sending a proposal to allow the hall ticket issued to students to be treated as a travel pass for the use of public transport,” she said.
According to Gaikwad, students will have to reach the exam centre at least an hour before to ensure COVID protocols are followed. Question papers will be given 10 minutes in advance so students can plan how to answer.
All exam centres will have a designated isolation room. If a student shows symptoms mid-exam, the student can be allowed to continue if he/she wishes to write the paper there. The nearest government health centres will provide assistance, if needed.
“I've already discussed with the state's chief secretary that teachers supervising board exams & board officials be treated as front line workers and be vaccinated on priority,” she said.