Maharashtra: Tussle continues between students and state over SSC, HSC board exams

Mumbai: A tussle continues to play out between students and state school education department over the issue of conducting Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board theory examinations via offline mode. While dates of offline SSC and HSC board exams have already been declared by the state school education department, students have opposed the offline mode of exams citing Covid-19 risks as cases are increasing in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Repeated protests have been staged by students in different parts of Maharashtra such as Mumbai, Pune and Nashik demanding that SSC and HSC board exams should be conducted via online mode to avoid Covid-19 risks. On March 21, 2021 students staged a protest at CSMT, Fort and on April 2, over 300 students staged a protest at Shivaji Park, Dadar demanding online exams instead of offline exams.

Waqi Ur Rehman, a HSC student said, "We have been repeatedly demanding the state to provide both options to appear for board exams via online and offline mode. Students are protesting across Maharashtra raising their voices stating if the entire academic year can be conducted online then why can board exams be conducted via online mode?"

An SSC student on request of anonymity said, "The number of Covid-19 cases are increasing in Mumbai every day. When offices, colleges and schools are shut, why is the state forcing us to step out and appear for board exams? Those who can appear for SSC and HSC board exams from home via online mode should be allowed to do so while, those who do not have internet services or technical paraphernalia can appear for exams from nearby centres."

On the other hand, Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister of Maharashtra has repeatedly said, "It is not possible to conduct SSC and HSC board theory exams via online mode." HSC board theory exams are scheduled to begin from April 23 to May 21, 2021 and SSC board theory exams will be conducted from April 29 to May 20, 2021 via offline mode.

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