A day after the Bombay High Court slammed the state government for proposing to cancel the Maharashtra Class 10 board exams due to the pandemic, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the government will take a decision regarding the 10th and 12th examinations in two to three days. "The issue was discussed at the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. I have asked the concerned minister and secretary to prepare a report in a day or two, after which we will take a decision,” said Thackeray.
School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on April 20 had announced that the Maharashtra Class 10 board exams 2021 have been cancelled. She said the Government has taken the decision in the wake of the worsening situation of the COVID-19 cases. Gaikwad had tweeted, "Given the worsening situation of the #Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government has now decided to CANCEL the state board exams for class 10th. The health & safety of our students and teachers is our topmost priority. #exams #ssc #hsc."
In another tweet, she said, ‘’As the current atmosphere is not conducive to exams, we had earlier postponed our exams while requesting other boards to reschedule theirs. In response to our communication, other boards have now cancelled their exams, so maintaining parity, we have cancelled ours too."
Further, Gaikwad had also announced that Class 12th board exams were postponed till May end. The board is putting the best foot forward to release the revised board sheet of HSC exams. The decision will be taken after reviewing the situation of COVID-19.
The high court on Thursday said, ‘’You are making a mockery of the education system.” A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and SP Tavade sought a reply as to why the decision to cancel the state board exam should not be set aside.
“Are you thinking of promoting the students without exams? If yes, then God save the education system of this state. This is the last year of schooling. Tenth standard is an important year and hence the exam is also important,” the court said. The government cannot spoil students’ career and future in the name of pandemic, it added.
“This is not acceptable at all. You are destroying the system,” Justice Kathawalla said. The high court noted that COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra were decreasing, and also asked why the government decided to cancel the Class 10 exam but not that for Class 12.
“Why this discrimination? It seems things are being done at the whims and fancies of so-called policy makers,” the court said.
“Students, who are the future of our country and state, cannot be promoted year after year without giving exams. We are only concerned about this,” the HC said.
In online, multiple choice exams, students who score 40 per cent also manage to get 90 per cent and hence it was not the right way to assess them, the court said.
The bench directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining why the court should not set aside the decision to cancel the SSC exam, and posted the matter for further hearing next week.