State board takes U-turn, says aptitude test is optional

  • Puja Pednekar
  • Updated: May 28, 2016 12:34 IST

MUMBAI: More than 1.13 lakh students who took the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam across the state skipped the Class 10 aptitude test, which was conducted for the first time by the state government this year, revealed figures provided by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). Of the 16 lakh students who took the SSC exam, 15 lakh appeared for the aptitude tests conducted between February 8 and 25, showed figures provided by the board.

Contrary to its previous stand, the MSBSHSE has said no action will be taken against the schools for not conducting the tests. “Most of the students have taken the tests; some schools did not conduct them. But we will not take any action against them as the tests were optional,” said Gangadhar Mhamane, chairperson of the board.

Earlier this year, education minister Vinod Tawde, the brainchild of these tests, had announced that the tests is mandatory for all SSC students and the board had also asked schools to schedule the tests on Saturdays, Sundays or other holidays, if need be, so that they could test the students within the stipulated time.

The change in the board’s stand has upset schools. “We were forced to conduct the exam in the middle of their SSC exam preparations because the education department had insisted it was compulsory,” said Prashant Redij, principal, Hilda Castelino School, Malad. “Next time, we will give students the option of taking it.”

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