Coronavirus outbreak: 2 papers to go, SSC exam to continue as per schedule
While candidates, parents and schools are stressed about appearing for the papers amid Coronavirus, pupils say it is better to finish them
Despite Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's move towards lockdown of the city, the state board's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination will continue as per schedule until March 23.
Now only two papers, one each on Saturday and Monday are left. At a time the state administration is taking strict steps asking everyone to remain home, shutting shops etc due to Coronavirus, students appearing for the SSC and their parents are quite worried. Schools are also stressed about holding the examinations.
While there is major stress among candidates and their parents, according to them it is better to complete the remaining two papers rather than postpone them.
Schools too are gearing up to take extra precautions in order to ensure complete safety. While parents have decided to avoid crowding exam centres, schools too are making seating arrangements to ensure there is enough distance betweentwo students.
'Focus on studies'
Surabhi Gawade, a student from a Borivali school, is keeping herself busy studying.
"Instead of thinking about the virus, it is better to focus on studies and get done with the papers. We have studied for the exam for the entire academic year and it should be given justice," said Surabhi.
A parent, Jilesh Parikh, from Ghatkopar, said, "We understand that with the city almost under lockdown, there are concerns around the SSC examination. But only two papers are pending and if they are postponed now, children's motivation will go down.
Jilesh Parikh, A parent
"It might not be the same level of attempt if now they are given a holiday. As responsible parents we can ensure that all precautions are taken care of. We have also started observing less crowd of parents outside exam centres now, as many like me have decided to drop offthe child and leave."
Another parent, Rajiv Shah, said, "We pray both papers are conducted smoothly as children have really studied hard. Now after the papers, even if the result is delayed due to the current conditions, it is fine. But at least the exam will be completed in a tempo as it started."
Schools taking precautions
Throwing light on the preparations of exam centres, Rupa Roy, principal of Balmohan School in Dadar said, "Schools have already started taking required precautions such as ensuring that children are sanitising their hands and using masks if they want to. Many of us have started ensuring that there is enough distance between two students in the way the seating arrangement is done. We have also started seeing less number of parents gathering outside the centre for past few days. It is not very easy to re-arrange the entire SSC examination. We can take all required precautions and complete the remaining two papers."
Rupa Roy, Principal, Balmohan School
Exploring a different angle, Uday Nare, a teacher and former member of the Maharashtra State Board, said, "The state education minister on Friday declared that the SSC examination will be held as per schedule. But it is important to note that in Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur, there will be issues in travelling, in terms of reaching the exam centres. All other boards have postponed examinations; the Prime Minister and Chief Minister have appealed to citizens to remain home." He questioned, "In all this, why is Section 144 is violated for SSC examination? The exam could have been held later as only the history and geography papers of 40 marks each remain."
Uday Nare, Teacher
Final exams for stds I to VIII cancelled
State education minister, Varsha Gaikwad, on Friday held a press conference to declare few important decisions. Foremost was that the final examinations for children till stds VIII have been cancelled and schools should grade them based on evaluation done throughout the academic year. The second announcement was that the SSC examination will continue and complete the two remaining papers which is why except for std X teachers, all other teaching and non-teaching staff of schools should work from home. For stds IX and XI, final examination is postponed until April 15. Soon after the examination, assessments shall begin for the board examination and there has been a demand by teachers to allow board exam evaluation from home. But Gaikwad has not given clear instructions on it as she said, "The state board is not completely convinced with home evaluation process considering the malpractices that it can lead to. But until March 31 everything else except SSC will remain shut, so we shall begin assessment later in the month of April and required decision will be taken accordingly."
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