Mumbai: Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has recently launched a consultation process with different stakeholders to choose the fate of examinations of Class 10 and 12 of the state board in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases. Gaikwad’s move came after a refrain for the delay of these exams in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases in the state.

The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had declared that the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam will be conducted between April 23 and May 21, whereas the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam will be held between April 29 and May 20. These exams are proposed to be held offline. Around 16 lakh students in Class 10 and 15 lakh students in Class 12 are anticipated to appear for the exams.

‘’In the light of the upsurge of COVID-19 cases, I have been holding consultations with student representatives, elected representatives from all parties, tech giants, parents, teachers, and other sector experts regarding alternatives for assessment of HSC and SSC board students,’’ said Gaikwad.

She further stated, ‘’I would like to assure all students and their parents that your safety is our foremost priority. We are reviewing the situation and a decision in this regard will be taken in the next few days.’’

Minister of Tourism and Environment Aaditya Thackeray, who is recovering from the infection, said, ‘’ She is having larger consultations with all concerned boards for best possible solutions. To all the worried parents and students, I appeal not to panic or worry. The Government of Maharashtra and the Minister are working to ensure student lives, as well as careers, are not put to risk.’’

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Gaikwad has already announced that students from Class 1 to 9 and 11 will be mass promoted without examinations. The Department of School Education has ruled out the plausibility of mass promotion of state board students of Class 10 and 12 citing that they won’t be able to compete with students from other boards in the competitive exams.