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Students protest demand online SSC & HSC exams

Maharashtra: Students protest, demand online SSC & HSC exams

February 1, 2022
-Dipta Joshi

Students across Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Osmanabad and Akola took to the streets protesting against the forthcoming 2021-22 class X and XII board exams being held offline. The students are demanding the board exams scheduled for February-March 2022 be conducted online.

In Mumbai, the students gathered outside the state education minister, Varsha Gaikwad’s home. Dilip Valse Patil, the state’s home minister, has called for an inquiry into the sudden protests by students. Gathering without any prior information, the protesters paid no heed to the state’s COVID protocols and had to be dispersed by the police.   

The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) was forced to cancel its Class X or the secondary school certificate (SSC) and class XII or higher secondary certificate (HSC) exams for the academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21 due to the COVID pandemic. This year, SSC exams will be held from March 15 while the HSC exams will be conducted March 4 onwards.  

As the state continues to register COVID and Omicron cases, parents seem to have mixed views about the forthcoming exams. Several parents’ associations have questioned students’ preparedness in a year when schools continued to remain closed and most classes were held online.

Adding to the confusion were the opposing statements made by the state’s ministers. Speaking to the media on January 28, Bacchu Kadu, the state minister for education, mentioned the education department was considering a possible month-long postponement.  

However, on January 30, the state’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad announced that both the SSC and HSC exams would be held as per schedule. Though warning students and parents to expect no delay in the exams this year, the minister mentioned the department would continue to assess the COVID situation and take an informed decision on February 15. Students would be notified of any changes, said the minister.   

Following Bacchu Kadu’s statement of a possible month-long delay in the exams this year, the Mumbai-based Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary School Principals’ Association wrote to the MSBSHSE asking it to conduct SSC and HSC board exams as per the schedule.

“Following online and offline studies, schools have already completed the required syllabus for class X and class XII in time and have also conducted the pre-boards. Students are prepared to write the exams and such statements in the media are only adding to confusion amongst students and parents,” states the association’s letter.

The government’s conditional reopening saw rural schools and colleges opening from July last year while those in urban areas resumed October 4 onwards. However, the rise of the Omicron variant in November saw the schools close once again before being allowed to reopen from January 24 this year. Schools and colleges have conducted both offline and online classes when open. 

Also read: 

Karnataka: SSLC 2022 preparatory exam timetable announced

Tamil Nadu: Govt shuts schools, exams postponed

Mithibai college to hold PG exams offline, students protest

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