As many as 3.8 lakh students for middle school (Std V) while another 2.4 lakh pupils have enrolled for high school (Std VIII) scholarship exams that will be held on Thursday. The maximum applications are from Pune with 52,286 registrations.
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As many as 5,687 exam centres have been finalised and the Maharashtra State Council of Examination said that all safety norms will be followed with 20 students in one classroom.
Commissioner of the examination Tukaram Supe said, “We have instructed all the applicants and their parents and other stakeholders to maintain all the safety precautions as per Covid-19 guidelines issued by the state government. Students have been told not to make groups and loiter on the campus after the papers are over. One student from each classroom will be released at a time before and after the exam.” All the exam centres have been sanitised, he added.
The exam was postponed six times after the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in March 2020, Ramakant Kute, a primary school teacher from Mulshi, said.
The cancellation of the exams in Mumbai had its share of drama with the BMC on Tuesday issuing a circular to the effect for the 8,000 civic school students. The decision was met with much criticism from aided and private schools, which termed it as a step-motherly treatment to their 15,000 students who had registered for the exam too.
The council that conducts the exam was quick to change the centres of Mumbai students who were earlier allotted civic schools as centres.
By Wednesday evening, the BMC issued fresh orders directing the cancellation of the exams across schools in Mumbai.
BMC education officer Raju Tadvi said the order of exam cancellation was for all schools in Mumbai but it was wrongly interpreted. He said a decision to not hold the exam was taken considering the Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. The BMC has requested the state to either conduct the exam online or hold it by end of August, depending on the Covid-19 situation in the city.
Shivnath Darade, secretary, Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad, said teachers were against the exams. “It is sad that students in the state will take the exams. When board exams can get cancelled, what is the urgency to hold a scholarship exam,” asked Darade.
Sandeep Sangave, deputy director, school education, Mumbai, issued a circular stating the fate of the students who will miss the exams in Mumbai will be put before the MSEC.