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Maharashtra govt cancels Class XII board exams

June 3, 2021

The Maharashtra government has cancelled the state’s Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE)  (HSC) or class XII board exams, 2021. The announcement was made by Vijay Wadettiwar, the state’s disaster management minister in view of the current second wave and in anticipation of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), declared cancellation of class XII exams on June 1, the state education department had submitted the proposal for cancellation of class XII exams to the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority. Today’s decision by the disaster management authority was taken at a meeting chaired by chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray.

This year 13 lakh students were to write their class XII (HSC) exams. The exams which are generally held in February-March were postponed to 23 April-21 May, and then delayed further as the government put restrictions in place in view of the surge in COVID-19 infections in the state.

Post the announcement, the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad said, “Our stand was always clear that given the pandemic situation, the health and mental well-being of our children must be everybody’s priority. In view of the importance of these examinations, we have been pushing for a ‘Uniform Assessment Formula’ across India.”   

Elaborating on the declaration of results the minister added, “The criterion on the basis of which results will be declared for standard XII and the date of the result declaration will soon be announced. The school education department is committed to devising a ‘fair and objective’ evaluation criterion.”  

At a meeting between the centre and representatives of states held last month to discuss the conducting of class XII exams, Varsha Gaikwad had already expressed her wish to adopt the non-examination route. She had also expressed concerns regarding the paucity of vaccinations done in the state to allow students to attend exams in the current situation.

While there was a growing demand from all the stakeholders to cancel exams in the state, there have been some mixed reactions to the government’s decision. “Although students’ safety is the number one priority, the cancellation of exams raises many doubts too. What will be the basis of marking in the absence of regular classes during the year? This has been a very tough year for our children and the government must come up with a just and fair rating system. This is also demotivating for students wanting to take admissions in foreign universities,” says Shirlyn Nazareth Patil, a parent whose daughter was to write her class XII exams this year.  

Also Read: West Bengal sets up expert committee to decide on X and XII board exams

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