Maharashtra students urge government to cancel HSC exams
A few days after the Maharashtra government announced the cancellation of Class 10 (SSC) exams in the state, students of Class 12 (HSC) are now requesting the government to give them a similar relief. Over the past few days, several students have taken to social media requesting that HSC exams be cancelled in view of the surge in Covid-19 infections and the resultant lockdown in the state.
On Sunday, the Maharashtra Students Welfare Association, a statewide body of students, wrote to state education minister Varsha Gaikwad to consider alternate methods of assessment and cancel offline exams. “HSC exams have already been postponed several times. If the situation worsens, in the coming days, postponement or conduct of offline exams will not be a good option,” states the letter.
Students have requested the education department to consider alternate methods of assessments, such as internal assessments, online exams or promoting all students to the next class. “The safety of students is of foremost importance as the government has been saying repeatedly. Then why is it not cancelling exams when it is almost certain that physical exams cannot be held in such circumstances?” asked a student.
Over 1.7 million students write SSC exams in the state every year while around 1.5 million appear for HSC exams.
“If CBSE decides to cancel Class 12 exams, it will be easier for the state board to do so as then there would be equivalence. Hence everyone is waiting for a decision,” said an official from the state education department.
On April 12, the state government had postponed HSC exams to the end of May and SSC exams to June. However, following CBSE’s decision to cancel Class 10 exams and a similar decision from ICSE, IGCSE and IB, there was growing pressure to cancel exams from students and parents to ensure equivalence across boards which is key at the time of admissions to colleges. On April 20, Class 10 exams were declared cancelled by the state government.