The Maharashtra administration has decided to hold HSC (Class 12) and SSC (Class 10) exams through offline mode only from the next month, state minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Saturday.
“The schools of the students will be their exam centres. Apart from the regular three-hour period of the exam, they will get an extra half an hour to attempt the questions,” news agency PTI quoted Gaikwad as saying.
The examination dates have already been announced and practical exams will be held once the written tests are over, Gaikwad added.
Regarding the procedure for practical exams, the minister said: “Conducting practicals in school has been tough this year. Therefore, we have decided that students need to be given a concession here. That is why, to start with, we have decided to do away with science practical exams for SSC, replacing them with internal assignments.”
However, she stated that practical exams for class 12 students are necessary due to their implications in professional courses.
“We have not cancelled them but have limited the number of experiments to just five/six this year. Colleges will be informed separately about the details,” Gaikwad said.
The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam will be conducted between 23 April and 21 May, while the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam will be held between 29 April and 20 May, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had announced last month.
The board exams are usually held in February and March, but this year the schedule has been changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saturday’s announcement comes amid spiking Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra.
The state reported as many as 25,681 fresh infections on Friday, pushing the tally to 24,22,021. On Thursday, the western state recorded 25,833 cases, the highest-ever single-day spike since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that a lockdown in Maharashtra is an option but he trusts people to follow the norms on their own to curb the spread of the virus.