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Campus Watch: No change in decision to conduct offline board exams in Maharashtra, online exams unlikely for 10, 12 students

Even as speculations are being made that state board exams will be held online, officials at the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary confirmed there is no such plan.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
January 7, 2022 12:46:58 pm
For the last one week though officials have been concerned over the rising cases of coronavirus and consultations were held with officials of other state boards.

Even as schools and colleges have been ordered to remain shut for offline lectures for Class 1 to 8 amid rising number of Covid-19 cases, parents and students of Class 10 and 12 worry about fate of final board examinations which are scheduled in March-April 2022.

However, even as speculations are being made that state board exams will be held online, officials at the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary confirmed there is no such plan.

“We are of the firm opinion that examinations are important. And as of now, the plan to conduct offline examinations has not changed. We have already declared the timetable for the same. Having said that, if the situation changes due to COVID 19, the education department and school education ministry will take a decision,” said Sharad Gosavi, chairman, MSBSHSE. He requested students not to believe any rumours, adding that the board would make an announcement in advance if there is any change.

For the last one week though officials have been concerned over the rising cases of coronavirus and consultations were held with officials of other state boards. While Gosavi refused to give details, senior officials said there were discussions over the possibility of conducting online examinations as well but it was ruled out.

“As of today, more than 31 lakh students have registered for Class 10, 12 board exams, the number is expected to cross 32 lakh. A majority of students come from rural and tribal areas where problem of network connectivity and devices is there. The board doesn’t have the technical bandwidth to conduct online examinations for all these students so we even consulted some of the biggest private IT companies but even they couldnt find a solution. Also it’s not possible to conduct online exams since paper pattern needs to be set, students need to be given advance notice and practice. There are 170 subjects in Class 12 and about 70 subjects for Class 10, setting paper is a massive task. A change of pattern in exam has to be decided at beginning of academic year so teaching alignment is done like that,” said an official from MSBSHSE.

Sources said that discussions were held with officials of other state board examinations who are faced with a similar situation.

“Last time when offline exams were cancelled, school level assessment was done but the pass percentage was over 99.5 percent, which was the highest in the history of the board. To maintain sanctity of assessment, exams are necessary. Hence another option is being mulled of making every school with a minimum strength of 14 students as an exam centre. If we do that, we will have roughly 22000 exam centres compared to 6000 centres currently, which means crowd will thin out,” said a board official.

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