Time and again, students who appear for their SSC examinations in languages other than English have complained about not being able to cope with the curriculum for HSC, which is mostly available in English.

Keeping this in mind, the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had released a circular in 2013 making it clear that HSC students can opt to write their exams, for one or more subjects, in a vernacular language of their choice. This circular was aimed especially at students from vernacular-medium schools.

Two years later, the state board is reminding schools to encourage students to avail of this option. “This option has been made available for students so that they don’t give up on their education, especially in subjects or courses of their choice.

Many students end up taking the HSC examinations in English because there may not be a provision for writing exams in vernacular languages post-HSC, but that doesn’t mean they should give up on subjects of their choice,” said S Chandekar, chairman (in-charge), Mumbai divisional board, Vashi.

Reaching out
The Mumbai divisional board office has decided to contact all vernacular medium schools in order to reach out to students and make them aware of this option. Officials at the board highlighted that very few students have made use of this option in the past two years.

“The total number is very low in cities like Mumbai, but students from schools in Palghar and the outskirts of Thane do opt for this. We want to reach out to more students so that they don’t miss out on this opportunity,” added Chandekar.

The 2013 circular had stated that any student appearing for the HSC examination in English can opt to answer a few subjects in any other language, including Marathi, Hindi and Urdu. The student will also be given question papers in the same language.

“Often, students find it very difficult to understand concepts in Biology and Chemistry when they are explained in English. Our teachers have regularly been requested by students to explain the same concept in either Hindi or Marathi for better understanding.

The fact that students can also appear for their papers in the same language will benefit them,” said a senior teacher from a Thane College. Recently, members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) had also taken up this matter with board officials.

“We wanted to make sure that no student loses out on pursuing subjects of their choice because of a lack of options. The students will certainly benefit from having this particular option in place and it is important for them to know about it,” said MNVS member Sandeep Pachange.