Even though the Maharashtra education department is on the back foot over its decision to reopen schools in the state, Thursday marked the first offline examinations that school students gave in classrooms since the pandemic began.
Barring Mumbai, where local authorities refused permission, the scholarship exam for Classes 5 and 8 students took place on Thursday. Lakhs of students appeared for the exam at 5,687 designated centres.
Tukaram Supe, commissioner, Maharashtra State Council of Examination, said nearly 85 to 90 per cent attendance was recorded at most districts where the exam was conducted with strict Covid-19 protocols in place.
Every year the scholarship examination is generally held in January. Owing to the ongoing pandemic and the need to hold it offline, the exam was cancelled and rescheduled several times over the past few months.
Total 3,88,405 students registered for the Class 5 scholarship exam, while 2,44,620 students registered for the Class 8 scholarship exam, making it a total of 6.32 lakh students.
The state gives scholarships to 100 students each from Class 5 and 8 in every district. While Class 5 students receive Rs 1,000 per month till Class 7, Class 8 students receive the same amount till Class 10.