'Maharashtra government seems to have forgotten SSC, HSC students,' say parents

Updated: 20 October, 2020 07:16 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Having spent three-fourths of the year at home taking online classes, lack of clarity over exam dates - usually held in Feb-March - and quality prep have kids on the edge

Representation pic/Getty Images
Representation pic/Getty Images

What are you doing about the HSC and SSC exams? With the board exam year so far having gone studying online and considering the experience of final year university students, both parents and teachers are demanding answers from the state government. Suffering the most in this scenario are the students who should have been solving practice papers, but are battling insecurity instead.

Ideally, by now, the registrar process and other formalities should have been nearing completion. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown sent the academic calendar for a toss and got children stuck in front of their laptops.

Representation pic
Representation pic

While teachers are demanding that the state government postpone board exams, parents are saying they want the state government to make a plan first.

"SSC students start preparing as soon as IX standard ends and HSC as soon as XI standard ends. The is no alternative to board exams as even final year exams were held as per court orders," said Anil Bornare from Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad, which has written to the chief minister and education minister. It has mentioned several points demanding clarity and given suggestions.

Munaf Mulla, parent from South Mumbai
Munaf Mulla, parent from South Mumbai

'Postpone board exams'

"Board exams should be postponed but the pattern should not be changed. Last-minute changes will create stress. Also, if due to a changed pattern, state board children fall behind, their college admissions will be affected. The government must also clarify how it plans to hold practical or oral exams," Bornare said.

"SSC and HSC students are under immense stress. The government must send a detailed plan to all stakeholders," said Anubha Shrivastava from India Wide Parents Association. According to Shrivastava, this is a concern for parents across boards.

Ramesh Makwana, a parent
Ramesh Makwana, a parent

Munaf Mulla, a resident of South Bombay whose daughter is in standard X at the Convent of Jesus and Mary school is trying to help her calm down. "My wife and I counselled our daughter about her SSC exam. She and her friends have been extremely stressed out about their academic future and keep discussing the board exam. This is their first big exam and due to the pandemic, the conditions under which they have had to prepare is unprecedented," Mulla said.

"Though I told her that she need not stress, that it is just an exam that she can give again in future, I myself don't know how things will turn out. The government should immediately give us clarity on what it wants to do with our children. Already this batch has suffered a lot as they missed the last year of school. The least we can do is ensure that they do not get stuck due to uncertainty and take undue pressure," Mulla added.

Stress and chaos

With no experience of writing board exams, students are worried about completing the paper. "But that too will come later. We need to know first how exams will be held. We are able to study with teachers' help but we don't know how to practice for the exams, especially for practicals," said Rushiksh Makwana, a science student from Mithibai College, adding that stress and chaos among students are increasing. "Even our teachers are unsure of what will happen next," the Vile Parle resident added.

Also Read: Man fails 33 times in class 10 exams, passes after mass promotion due to COVID-19

Rushikesh's father, Ramesh, said, "Suppose exams are not held, how will students be evaluated? You cannot tell us at the last moment that the exam pattern has changed. Postponement, pattern, safety protocols need to be discussed now. The government seems to have forgotten about this."
A teacher from Hansraj Morarji School in Andheri, Uday Nare, said, "You cannot prepare online for a language paper. It is important to be able to complete the lengthy paper in time. This needs practice at school, not at home. Subjects like Geography, map-reading, etc can be taught effectively only in class. Science subject also needs labs for practical sessions. Students and parents keep asking us questions to which we do not have answers. This is why I have written to the state government seeking clarity." Nare added that with a change in curriculum for HSC, they have already been confused.

15.05 lakh
Students in state who gave SSC in 2019-20

15.75 lakh
Students in state who gave HSC in 2019-20

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First Published: 20 October, 2020 07:04 IST

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