Updated: March 20, 2021 4:38:06 pm
Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has announced a slew of concessions for the upcoming Class X, XII written and practical board examinations in April-May 2021, most important of which is that students would get an extra half hour to write the 80-mark theory papers.
Stating that owing to the Covid-19 situation, schools were shut down for the better part of the year and students haven’t had much writing practice, the minister announced that students would get an extra 30 minutes for 80 marks and 15 minutes for theory papers of 40-50 marks. As assured earlier, students would give their board exams in the same school/junior college only and exams would be held offline.
The minister confirmed that as per the earlier announced timetable, SSC and HSC written exams would be conducted offline from April 29 to May 20 and from April 23 to May 21 respectively.
“Conducting practical exams in school has been tough this year and therefore we have decided that students need to be given a concession here. That is why, to start with, we have decided to do away with science practical exams for SSC, replacing them with internal assignments. The internal assignments submissions will take place after written exams, from May 21-June10. This will be conducted in the respective schools. If any child falls sick during this submission period, an additional grace period of 15 days will be granted for submissions,” said Gaikwad.
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There will also be special concessions for differently-abled students. To avoid crowding, submissions will be done batch-wise.
She added that since practical exams in Class XII and HSC are crucial for further professional courses, they have not been cancelled. However, the number of experiments has been limited to just five/six this year for science students.
Junior colleges will be informed separately about the details. As far as Arts, Commerce and vocational courses go, home-based assignment tests would replace practical exams.
Even for Class XII, these exams or journal submissions will take place after written exams, from May 22 to June 10. Examiners (internal and external) will be provided by the same college. Exams or submissions will be done batch-wise under strict safety protocols.
If students are absent due to Covid infection or containment restrictions, they can appear for a special exam scheduled in June, and the school will provide their details to the board. This exam will be treated as the main assessment, separate from supplementary exam to be held later.
There will be no separate fees for the special exam for Covid-affected students. However, this exam will be held only in select examination centres and the gap between papers will be lesser.
As far as the syllabus goes, Gaikwad said that due to Covid-19, the curriculum was earlier cut by 25%. Questions will only be from this reduced syllabus. However, for students in the Old/Repeater/Improvement category, this concession is not applicable.
All exam centres will have a designated isolation room. If students show Covid symptoms during the exam, they can be allowed to continue if they wish to finish writing the paper. The nearest government health centres will provide the assistance needed.
Students will have to reach the exam centre at least an hour before the test to ensure Covid protocols are followed. Question papers will be given 10 minutes in advance.
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