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Maharashtra board alters diktat; students with genuine reason for getting late can appear for exams

The decision came after board received flak from several school principals, especially from rural areas, who called it unfair

mumbai Updated: Dec 06, 2017 14:57 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,HSC,SSC
Until now, the board allowed students to enter the examination hall 30 minutes after the commencement of exam(HT File)

Barely a week after the Maharashtra state board announced its decision to disallow Class 10 and Class 12 students inside the examination hall after the exam begins, the board has now clarified that students will be allowed to appear for the exam in ‘genuine’ cases. This decision comes after the board received flak from several school principals, especially from rural Maharashtra, who called the diktat “unfair to students”.

As per clarification received by schools on Tuesday, the state board has mentioned that in certain genuine cases, including personal tragedy, natural disaster or any untoward incident, schools can allow students to appear for the exam even if they are late.

“The new rule was misinterpreted by schools across the state, so we issued a clarification . In specific cases, schools can take a call whether a student was late due to a genuine reason,” said state board secretary, Krishnakumar Patil.

Until now, the board allowed students to enter the examination hall 30 minutes after the commencement of exam. Students were also allowed to leave the exam hall after spending 30 minutes inside the exam hall or finishing before time stipulated. The new rule allows the 30-minute grace period to students only under specific conditions and no student will be allowed to leave the examination hall until the end of the exam.

“The board is trying to avoid any form of malpractice during exams, but that can’t be done by punishing the entire student community. Even in a city like Mumbai, students have reached late for an exam owing to traffic jams so imagine the state of students in rural Maharashtra with minimal transport facilities,” said Prashant Redij, secretary of Mumbai School Principals Association.

The association had written to the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Examinations (MSBSHSE) against the new rule.

The state board’s decision to introduce strict entry and exit rules at exam halls was based on several cases last year where students had found copies of the question paper on various social media websites before the exam began. However, principals thought that instead of targeting students, the board should focus on making their system more foolproof.

“The problem is in their system, which needs a thorough scrutiny. Punishing students is not the answer,” said another school principal.

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First Published: Dec 06, 2017 14:57 IST