Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has launched a consultation process with various stakeholders to decide the fate of examinations of Class 10 and 12 of the state board amid rising COVID-19 cases. Gaikwad’s move came after a chorus for the postponement of these exams amid rising COIVD-19 cases in the state.
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had announced that 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. These exams are proposed to be held offline. Around 16 lakh students in Class 10 and 15 lakh students in Class 12 are expected to appear for the exams.
‘’In the light of the upsurge of COVID-19 cases, I have been holding consultations with student representatives, elected representatives from all parties, tech giants, parents, teachers, and other sector experts regarding alternatives for assessment of HSC and SSC board students,’’ said Gaikwad.
She further stated, ‘’I would like to assure all students and their parents that your safety is our foremost priority. We are reviewing the situation and a decision in this regard will be taken in the next few days.’’
Minister of Tourism and Environment Aaditya Thackeray, who is recovering from the infection, said ‘’ We have been receiving messages from students of 10th and 12th about their concerns with regard to COVID-19 and examinations. I have been discussing with and conveying them to all to Minister Varsha Gaikwad who has the safety of students as topmost priority along with their careers.’’
He noted, ‘’ She is having larger consultations with all concerned boards for best possible solutions. To all the worried parents and students, I appeal not to panic or worry. The Government of Maharashtra and the Minister are working to ensure student lives, as well as careers, are not put to risk.’’
Former School Education Minister and BJP leader Ashish Shelar and NCP legislator Rohit Pawar have demanded that the examinations of Class 10 and 12 be postponed.
Gaikwad has already announced that students from Class 1 to 9 and 11 will be mass promoted without examinations. The Department of School Education has ruled out the possibility of mass promotion of state board students of Class 10 and 12 citing that they won’t be able to compete with students from other boards in the successive competitive exams.