Maharashtra: SSC, HSC students unable to appear for practicals, viva to get a second chance, states education minister Varsha Gaikwad

Students who are unable to appear for practical and oral examinations of Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board due to Covid-19 situation and containment zone restrictions will be given a chance to appear for the same after offline theory examinations are conducted, announced Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister on Thursday.

Parent representatives of students appearing for SSC and HSC exams and school leaders raised their concerns regarding offline conduct of SSC and HSC board exams in a meeting with the education minister on Thursday.

In response to concerns raised by parents and school leaders, Gaikwad said, "It is not possible to conduct SSC and HSC board exams via online mode. Also, it is not possible to defer the examination considering the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra because it will adversely affect the higher education cycle as Class 10 and 12 examinations of private boards are scheduled at the same time."

Gaikwad said, "If it is not possible for students to appear for practical and oral examinations due to Covid-19 or containment zone restrictions, they will be given a chance to appear after the written examinations are conducted. No additional exam fees will be charged for it."

Francis Joseph, co-founder of School Leaders Network (SLN) who attended the meeting said, "We raised several concerns such as lack of space leading to overcrowding at exam centres, separate classrooms for students who show symptoms and maintenance of SOPs during SSC and HSC board exams. The state school education department was quite open for suggestions and ideas for the safe and smooth conduct of SSC and HSC board examinations."

Joseph said, "Students need to understand the question bank provided by the state is an additional help and not the exam question paper itself. Students should continue to study regularly and not rely solely on the question bank instead use it to prepare for exams. Also, the option to shift and change exam centres to avoid commute and prevent risks is not feasible for all students as it will lead to a total chaos."

Parents have suggested for a gap between Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subject papers for Class 12 HSC students.

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