A total of 17,27,496 students (including repeaters) from across the state, including 2,78,038 students from Pune division, will appear for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC, Std X) examination from Tuesday. The exam will be conducted in nine divisions including Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Amravati, Latur and Konkan.
Out of the 17.27 lakh students, 9,55,186 are boys and 7,72,310 are girls who will be appearing from 21,480 schools at 4,535 exam centres. This year, 16,60,689 fresh candidates will appear for SSC exams and the number has risen by 83,378 as compared to 15,77,303 fresh candidates last year.
Three new vocational subjects of Multi-Skill Foundation Course, Automobile Technology and Retail Merchandising offered under the Vocationalisation of Secondary Education scheme have been added to the list of optional subjects instead of languages. However in it’s first year, only 38 schools across the state have been given permission to opt for it.
The other change in this year’s exam pattern is that the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has decided to move back to the old pattern and split the Science paper in two parts, i.e. Science I and II instead of one Science paper.
Despite the option of an adult writer for blind students for the first time this year, state board officials said there were no takers across the state for the facility.
Meanwhile the general rules for the exam remain the same wherein all students will be expected to report 30 minutes before the exam commences, said Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman of MSBSHSE.
“Question papers will be handed out 10 minutes before the exam commences to allow students to read questions, plan and then begin writing answers. In case of an emergency like unprecented traffic or such difficulty where a student cannot reach their exam centre, they can report to the nearest exam centre for that day only and officials at each centre have been informed to allow students to write exams,” said Mhamane.
Like last year, the board said that students will be allowed a combined pass marks of 105 in the three language subjects but students will have to score a minimum of 25 marks in each language subject.
Multiple question sets will be used for English (third language), Maths and General Maths. Board officials also said that the students must score a minimum of 105 marks together in the three language subjects.
Meanwhile, a slew of anti-copying measures have been taken up like the appointment of 252 flying squads including seven for each district, sitting squads for sensitive exams, CCTV cameras and monitoring committees under the chairmanship of district collectors.
“We have written letters to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution to avoid load-shedding at centres; and railways, bus, state transport and local transport authorities to make arrangements for dropping school students to centres,” Mhamane added.