The Maharashtra government on Saturday postponed the last SSC exam paper, scheduled to be held on Monday, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state. “The last paper of SSC stands postponed. We will announce the date for the paper after March 31,” said Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad.
In a circular issued later in the day, Ashok Bhosale, secretary of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, said, “In a bid to check the spread of coronavirus, it has been decided to postpone the social sciences paper to be held on Monday… the revised timetable will be announced at a later date.”
The penultimate paper, however, was held as scheduled on Saturday. Over 17 lakh students across the state appeared for the paper.
On Friday, Gaikwad had announced that the remaining two papers of SSC exam will be held as per schedule, while announcing cancellation of exams for Class I to class VIII students. The decision, on the same day Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a near-shutdown in the state, had drawn sharp reactions from political parties like the Shiv Sena and AAP, and by parents’ associations.
“We had taken up the issue with the chief minister, who got the exam postponed. …On Friday, MLA Kapil Patil had met the minister and urged her not to hold the exam,” said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
Welcoming the decision to cancel the last paper, Anubha Sahai, president of India Wide Parents Association, said, “… We had been sending letters and tweeting, urging the education minister to cancel or postpone the exam. They should have cancelled at least the final two papers as the chief minister himself had urged people to stay at home…”.
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