Mumbai: In view of surging cases of covid-19 the education ministry of Maharashtra on Monday postponed the state board exams for classes 10 and 12. The class 12 exams will now be held by the end of May and the class 10 exams in June, state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said today. The exact dates will be announced based on the developing situation, which the administration is monitoring, she said.
“The present circumstances are not conducive for holding exams. Your health is our priority,” Ms Gaikwad said in a video message posted on Twitter today.
The decision to postpone the exams was based on consultations with various stakeholders such as students, teachers, parents, elected representatives from across parties, academicians, and tech giants, she said.
“During the consultations, various alternative assessment options were evaluated keeping the health, well-being and future of our students in mind. Postponing exams seemed to be the most pragmatic solution,” she said, thanking Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for “his guidance”.
“We’ll also be writing to the CBSE, ICSE, IB, Cambridge boards, requesting them to reconsider their exams dates,” she said.
The worst affected state Maharashtra is in the grips of a torrid revival of infections that has affected the entire country. Yesterday alone, the state recorded 63,294 new cases and 349 deaths, taking its overall figure to 34,07,245 infections and 57,987 deaths.
Parts of the state are back to partial lockdowns and night-time curfews. Officials have already warned that if the situation does not improve, then the state may even consider a complete lockdown, which it is trying to avoid.
Notably, thousands of students from across the country had earlier this month demanded that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) either cancel the board exams scheduled to be held in May or conduct them online. The board, however, refused saying adequate safety arrangements were being made for students who will be writing the exams.
Several opposition leaders, including the Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi, had criticised the CBSE’s decision calling it “irresponsible”.