Students appearing for an HSC exam in Mumbra this year
It was not a popular system for the educators to begin with and following multiple cases of paper leaks in the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination, the Mumbai Association of Heads of Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools have written a letter to education minister Vinod Tawde, asking him to rescind the practice of handing out question papers ten minutes before the scheduled exams.
Also read - Mumbai: Cops nab HSC paper leak main accused
The minister had introduced the practice last year in a bid to calm nervous candidates and help them decide what questions to answer first to best approach their exam.
According to the principals' body, because of the initiative, the question-paper bundles are opened much before the examination time, making it difficult to control the malpractices. The letter explains, "The practice of giving question papers early to students has to be stopped. Question papers are given early and students are allowed to come as late as half an hour after the examination begins. Instead, after the examination begins, students can be given time to read question papers, and ten minutes extra could be given later." The letter also demands decentralisation of Mumbai division of the state board to better monitor the malpractices and curb them.
'No last minute entries'
Spokesperson for the association, Prashant Redij, said, "We have been demanding decentralisation for the past five years. At the same time, the board also has to stop last minute acceptance of applications. There are students filling forms a day before examination. These entries hamper the management of the examination with schools having to do last minute adjustments," adding, "We can only hope that the education minister realises the ground level issues in implementations of these initiatives so that there are no untoward incidents in future."
Also read: Maths paper on WhatsApp minutes before exam
Education minister says
Meanwhile, the education minister told mid-day, "The state board will think on this and take the decision." Subsequently, chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and higher Secondary Education, Gangadhar Mamhane said, "We will take review of the condition after this examination session ends. Whether to continue or stop the said practice is a policy decision and so cannot be taken immediately during the exam."