State school education minister Varsha Gaikwad
State school education minister Varsha Gaikwad

The SSC and HSC board examinations for Classes 10 and 12 have been postponed by the Maharashtra state government, the state’s school education minister, Varsha Gaikwad, announced on Monday. This decision was taken after a consultation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in view of the health risks posed to students given the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state.

The state government has decided that HSC board exams will be conducted by the end of May, while SSC board exams will be conducted in June, via offline mode.

On Monday, Gaikwad said, “Given the current Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, we have postponed the state board exams for Class 10 (SSC) and Class 12 (HSC). The present circumstances are not conducive to hold exams. The health of students is our priority.

“Keeping in mind the schedule of entrance exams for professional courses, Class 12 exams will be held by end of May, while Class 10 exams will be in June. We are closely monitoring the health situation. Fresh dates for these exams will be announced accordingly.”

Earlier, HSC board theory exams were scheduled to be held from April 23 to May 21 and the SSC board exams from April 29 to May 20, 2021, offline.

The decision to postpone these examinations was taken after consultations with various stakeholders--students, teachers, parents, elected representatives from across parties, academicians and tech giants, in the wake of rising coronavirus cases. Gaikwad said, “During consultations, various alternative assessment options were evaluated keeping the health, well-being and future of our students in mind. Postponing exams seemed to be the most pragmatic solution.”

Postponing exams not the solution, say students

Reacting to the decision, students said postponement of exams was not a viable solution, considering the continuous spread of Covid-19 infection. Aarti Kumar, a Class 12 student said, "What is the guarantee that Covid-19 risks will be reduced by the end of May or June? SSC and HSC board exams should be conducted online or via internal assessments and assignments.” Another student, Sundaram Chettiar, said, “Deferring the exam will just delay our academic cycle. Instead, the state should consider other alternatives to conduct Classes 10 and 12 board exams.”

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