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‘Maharashtra SSC exam to be held after lockdown,’ says Education Minister

Parents of CBSE and ICSE board students have been demanding that exams from classes I to VIII be cancelled. Given that these boards are under the Centre, we can only request them to consider the parents' pleas. However, I'm sure they will take necessary steps in the right direction, says Varsha Gaikwad.

Written by Abha Goradia | Mumbai | Updated: April 1, 2020 12:02:30 pm
Might allow those in need to seek shelter in schools until the lockdown is over: Maharashtra Education Minister “The plan is to conduct the last SSC exam within eight days of the end of the lockdown period. It is a priority, since so far, the state board has never cancelled any SSC exam,” says Varsha Gaikwad.

Is there a plan to use schools as isolation wards?

So far, we haven’t received any directive or request to convert our schools into isolation wards and we have not given this a thought. However, we are thinking of opening around 200 to 250 schools for those who require temporary shelters. To help maintain social distance, we might allow those in need to seek shelter in schools until the lockdown is over. The power to take a call in this regard will be with the collector and the municipal corporation.

When will the last exam of SSC board be held?

The plan is to conduct the last SSC exam within eight days of the end of the lockdown period. It is a priority, since so far, the state board has never cancelled any SSC exam. However, in case it does not work out, we may have to consider the option of cancelling the exam and going ahead with the ‘best of five’ rule, where marks of five subjects will be considered out of the six exams that have already been held. We will be able to take a decision on this after April 15.

Will the declaration of SSC and HSC results be delayed?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to help this. Earlier, teachers were asked to take home SSC and HSC papers for assessment after March 31, but now they will be asked to do the same after April 14. My plan for this year was to announce SSC results early, around the same time as others such as ICSE and CBSE boards do. The idea was to finish the junior college admission process in time, instead of carrying on with it till October or so.

Will exams for classes IX and XI be conducted?

For this too, a decision can only be taken after April 15. We are hoping that the situation will improve so that we can hold exams for classes IX, XI as well as the last SSC exam. If not, we will have to look for another solution or promote all students of classes IX and XI as well.

Will the summer vacation for teachers be cut short?

Let’s see what happens. Our priority is to conduct exams, but will also see if we can consider the summer vacation period.

Is an alternative academic schedule being planned?

So far, no. Once we near the end of the lockdown period, we will get clarity and invite suggestions on an alternative schedule if required. We are hoping for the best and have suspended all decisions until April 15. Only, we had to announce distribution of cereals and rice available with the schools for the needy. For this, we have authorised the respective collectors and school management committees.

Parents of CBSE and ICSE board students have been demanding that exams from classes I to VIII be cancelled.

Given that these boards are under the Centre, we can only request them to consider the parents’ pleas. However, I’m sure they will take necessary steps in the right direction.

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