Mumbai, Jan 4 (IANS) The Maharashtra government is planning to hold the current Academic Year (AY 2020-2021) HSC and SSC Board examinations in mid-April and early May, Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said here on Monday.
"We are considering holding HSC exams after April 15 and SSC exams after May 1," Gaikwad tweeted late on Sunday.
The Minister added that the government is consulting the health officials on the possibility of reopening schools for classes 5 to 8, and decision would soon be taken on this.
Normally, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) conducts the crucial HSC exams in February followed by SSC in March.
This year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the state schools are shut since the past 10 months and students have been attending online classes.
While endorsing the Minister's announcement, the Mumbai Principals Association (MPA) has said that the exams should be pushed back even more since students will not get sufficient time to prepare for these critical exams.
"The online classes are just okay and not very efficient. There is no decision on reopening the schools for regular classes so far. January-Febebruary 2021 may be a washout.
"That leaves only March-April for the students to prepare for the exams, which is not sufficient," MPA Secretary, Principal Prashant Redij told IANS.
Moreover, many people from urban areas are still stuck in their native villages, and there could be further delays hampering their efforts to prepare for exams.
Redij expressed concerns that given the feedback received on the online education, "there could be a drop in academic standards, students' performance and the overall Board results this year".
According to MPA's estimates there are a little more than 150,000 schools in the state attended by over 10 million students who are taught by around one million teachers in the public and private sector.
Parents and students also apprehend that they stand to lose a second consecutive year of the much-awaited annual summer vacations, and they would be compelled to cancel their holiday plans even this year.
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