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Maharashtra SSC board exams for Geography cancelled

PUBLISH DATE 13th April 2020

In an unprecedented move, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has decided to cancel the pending Geography paper for over 17 lakh SSC (Class X) students.

The education department has also announced that the second semester exams for classes IX and XI will not be conducted.
The education department had decided to postpone the last pending SSC paper after the number of Covid-19 cases rapidly increased in the state. The government was expected to give a new date after the lock down ended on April 14. Chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray however announced the extension of the lock down on Saturday.

In a video message, the school education minister, Varsha Gaikwad said, "The lock down was expected to end on April 14 but it has now been extended. Hence we have taken two decisions. The second semester exams for Class IX and XI will not be held and students must be promoted to the next classes on the basis of the first term exam and internal exam results. Similarly, we have also decided to cancel the pending Geography and pending vocational subjects papers for SSC students."

The Geography paper was originally scheduled for March 23 and the vocational subjects were to be held between March 24 and April 4. The board authorities are however yet to work out an alternative marking scheme. "This hasn't happened before. We have rules in place to mark smaller groups in case they can't appear for an exam or their answer sheets are lost. We are working with the government to find the best solution," said Shakuntala Kale, chairperson of the state board.

Several school principals and teachers group across the state had put forth this demand soon after the exam was postponed. Principals said there were several options available for the board. "The students are allowed to pick their best five scores out of six while applying for admissions. So for one year, the board could do away with the rule and score them only on five subjects. Since the students have already appeared for the history exam, the board can allow them to pass the group based on an average score," said Sudam Kumbhar, principal, Shailendra Education Society, Dahisar. The Maharashtra State Junior College Teachers Association too had written to the government demanding the class XI exams be cancelled.

The only other board to cancel the class XII board examinations was International Baccalaureate (IB). The exams were scheduled from April 30 to May 22. The CBSE and ICSE had also postponed the pending class X and XII examination.

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