Maharashtra school reopens: First offline school exam since Covid today in Maharashtra

PUNE / MUMBAI: As the state conducts its first offline test since the pandemic – the scholarship review for Std V and Std VIII students on Thursday – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has canceled testing in Mumbai. In the Mumbai metropolitan area, however, the state will host the exams in Thane, Raigad, and Palghar.

Up to 3.8 lakh students for college (Std V) while another 2.4 lakh students have registered for the high school scholarship exams (Std VIII) which will be held on Thursday. The maximum number of applications comes from Pune with 52,286 registrations.

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No less than 5,687 examination centers have been finalized and the Maharashtra State Examination Board said all safety standards will be followed with 20 students in a classroom.

Examining Commissioner Tukaram Supe said: “We have asked all applicants, their parents and other stakeholders to maintain all safety precautions in accordance with the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the state government. Students were told not to group together and to hang out around campus after the papers were completed. One student from each class will be released both before and after the exam. All examination centers have been disinfected, he added.

The exam was postponed six times after the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in March 2020, said Ramakant Kute, a primary school teacher in Mulshi.

The cancellation of exams in Mumbai had its share of drama with the BMC which issued a circular on Tuesday for the 8,000 students of the civic school. The move drew widespread criticism from both subsidized and private schools, who called it mother-in-law treatment for their 15,000 students who had also registered for the exam.

The board that is organizing the exam was quick to change the Mumbai student centers that were previously assigned to civic schools as centers.

On Wednesday evening, the BMC issued new orders canceling exams in all schools in Mumbai.

BMC education manager Raju Tadvi said the order to cancel exams affected all schools in Mumbai, but had been misinterpreted. He said a decision not to hold the review had been made given the Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. The BMC has asked the state to either complete the review online or hold it by the end of August, depending on the Covid-19 situation in the city.

Maharashtra secretary Shivnath Darade Rajya Shikshak Parishad said teachers were against exams. “It is sad that the state’s students are taking the exams. When board exams can be canceled, how urgent is it to organize a scholarship review, ”Darade asked.

Sandeep Sangave, deputy director of school education in Mumbai, issued a circular stating that the fate of students who fail exams in Mumbai will be submitted to the MSEC.


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