The Maharashtra school education department on Saturday directed all primary and secondary education officers as well as zilla parishad schools to immediately announce the results of the 2019-20 academic year for classes 1 to 9 and 11 either through telephone, SMS or online. A circular issued by the department said that this is being done to assure students of their promotion, so that they can begin studying for the next class.
In a statement on Sunday, the Brihanmumbai Association of Heads of Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools asked the government to review the decision. The association said that as all academic records are in the school buildings, it’s not possible to prepare results. “Should teachers go to schools braving the risk of being maltreated by police? Moreover, don’t teachers have summer holidays? The department has not clarified the role of examiners of classes 10 and 12 either,” said association president Dilshad Thobani.
The department had earlier announced that all students from classes 1 to 8 would automatically be promoted. Later, the department announced the same decision for students of classes 11 as well, after lockdown was extended post March 31. Besides, the last SSC exam paper was cancelled.
Following a recent meeting helmed by School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, the department is planning to begin assessment of Class 10 papers in low-risk districts, a department official said.
Until now, Class 10 answer sheets have not reached examiners as educational institutions were shut before exams could be completed. The challenge now for the department is to complete assessment and announce results. “If assessments begin after schools resume operations, it will add to the burden of the teachers. In this view, a letter will soon be issued by the department. Districts in green zone, some places in orange zone can allow examiners to travel,” said the official.
Moreover, even as the department has cancelled the last exam, the marking scheme for SSC papers is yet to be finalised. “A proposal has been sent to the state board, which is in the process of finalising the same,” the official said.
The department has been working to begin broadcasting of educational programmes on television and radio for those students who may not have Internet connectivity. The initial plan was to start this from the first week of April. However, the plan hit a roadblock after it was found that the curated content for broadcasting was suitable for Internet and not television. “We had curated existing educational programmes. But rendering had to be done to make it suitable for television and radio mediums. Now we are awaiting permission from the Union government to begin the initiative,” said an official.
Four-hour slots, 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm have been requested by the department for the broadcast. While for radio, audio books will be broadcast through Akashwani, for television, the Central Institute of Educational Technology will run programmes on Doordarshan.
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