In a move that will reduce students’ burden, the theory exams for physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics subjects in the higher secondary certificate (HSC) examination for science stream are likely to be divided into two parts from the coming academic year. The board may also appoint external examiners to conduct the practical exams to ensure fair evaluation.
At the meeting with the members of the Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers’ Organisation on Friday, school education minister Vinod Tawde said he plans to recommend the changes to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education soon. Following this announcement, the 60,000 teachers, who had planned to boycott the HSC assessments, withdrew their agitation.
“I agree that our present exam system of having one exam each for physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics subjects puts burden on students. I will recommend scrapping of this practice and reintroducing two written exams for these subjects,” Tawde said.
The practice of having one exam each for these subjects started two years ago. “It was done as the state board wanted to be on a par with the ICSE and CBSE boards. But our syllabus is already on a par with them and it will not change if two exams are held instead of one,” said Tawde.
The announcement has come as a huge relief to the students. “Revising the entire syllabus was tough. Having two exams will be of great help,” said Saloni Rai, an FYJC student from Andheri.
“With internal examiners, many colleges were giving out answers to students during the practical exams or giving them full marks,” said Anil Deshmukh, secretary, Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers, who had launched the protest.
Deshmukh said Tawde has also accepted other demands such as paying salaries of more than 1,000 teachers whose posts were sanctioned last year, approving the 42 strike period leave that the teachers had taken few years ago and making the old pension scheme applicable for teachers.