Some students of Victoria High School in Mahim, and their parents, say they are in a quandary after the school initially sent a message saying that students of one Class 9 section had been promoted to Class 10, but a few days later, sent another message saying those who have failed to clear subjects in Class 9 would have to sit for re-exams when school reopens. According to parents, the message said that students would be prompted to standard 10 if they scored well in the re-exams.
Parents question how students will be able to focus on syllabi for both Class 9 and 10 together, especially when they have already started preparations for their board exams. The parents stated that in such a case, there will be much less time left for students to prepare for their board exams and their focus will be disturbed.
According to the aggrieved parents, on June 16, the school sent a message on a WhatsApp group for both students and parents, informing that students of Class 9 C-division had been promoted. However, on June 22, another message informing them of re-exams was sent.
When contacted Father Denzil Fernandes, the Principal of Victoria High School said, "The state government has not issued any GR promoting students of Class 9 to Class 10 without exams. The same has been discussed with education department, and they too mention that there is no GR to this effect."
A parent of a Class 9 student at the school, who do not wish to be named, said parents are worried about how their children will study for two different syllabi simultaneously, rather than focusing on board exams. The parent’s child did not clear three subjects and received a message about re-exams.
"If the school reopens in September, and even if it conducts the re-exams immediately and declares results by the second week of September, those promoted will have only seven months left for preparations for board exams. Usually board exams are held in March. This is unfair,” said the parent.
The parent added that they had already purchased Class 10 books after they were informed on the group that all students have been promoted.
Rajesh Baniya, a local activist in Mahim following the issue said, "The decision is completely illogical. If re-exams are held, these students will focus again on clearing class 9 exams. If they attain good scores and are promoted to Class 10, they will eventually get less time to prepare for boards. Students stand to lose either way.”
He added, "State Government should be blamed for this confusion. As the government has stated via previous GR, exams from class 1 to 8 remain cancelled, while class 9 and 11 exams will be held in April. However, we are now in June and still there is no clarity.”