Maha board firm on offline exam for Classes 10, 12; number of centres to go up
Amid demand by students for cancellation of offline examinations due to the COVID-19 situation, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) on Thursday made it clear that the exams for Class 12 and 10 will be conducted in offline mode.
The board made the announcement in the wake of protests held by students in the state earlier this week, who demanded that the offline exams for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC/Class 10) and High Secondary School Certificate (HSC/Class 12) be cancelled due to the pandemic.
In a press conference on Thursday, the MSBSHSE said that there will be no changes in the dates of these examinations as announced earlier. "Considering the large number of students appearing for the examination and other technical issues related to non-availability of devices, it will be difficult to conduct the examination online. Hence, the board has decided to conduct the board exams offline," Sharad Gosavi, the director of the board said.
Class 12 examination will be conducted between March 4 and April 30 and practicals will be held from February 14 to March 3, it was stated. The board has also announced dates for "out of turn” exams between March 31 and April 18 to conduct practicals, internal or oral examinations for students who are unable to appear for exams on the earlier dates due to any reason.
"Usually, the board charges extra fees for an out-of-turn exams, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has decided not to charge any extra fees," the official said.
The SSC examination will be conducted between March 15 and April 4, while practicals or oral examination will be held between February 25 to March 3, it was stated. The out-of-turn exam will be conducted between April 5 and April 22, he said.
According to the board officials, 16,25,311 students have applied for SSC exams so far, while 14,72,562 have applied for HSC. "Usually, fixed exam centres are allotted to students. However, this year the examination centres will be in their own schools or junior colleges to make them feel comfortable," the official said.
The board has also decided to give 15 minutes extra for exam paper carrying marks 40-60 and 30 minutes extra for exam paper with marks between 70 and 100. This will be applicable for SSC and HSC both, he said. "Every centre will have a separate room if a student is unwell and medical staff will be available," he said.
The board has also increased the number of exam centres to avoid overcrowding, the official said. "A maximum of 25 students will be accommodated in a classroom. There used to be 5,042 centres for SSC exams and now we have increased it to 21,341.
Earlier, there were 2,943 HSC exam centres, but now they have been increased to 9,613," the official added.