Nagpur: State’s school education minister Varsha Gaikwad said conducting board exams online was never an option considering the various technical challenges. In a public statement issued on Monday, Gaikwad also ruled out postponing exams by a few months as “summer in Vidarbha and monsoon in Konkan” are not conducive for students.
Gaikwad said she has been constantly receiving queries from parents who questioned the government’s persistence of sticking to the traditional pen-paper format of exams.
Gaikwad said, “Many parents and students constantly ask why we are conducting classes online, but exams offline. We have around 16 lakh students appearing for SSC, while 12 lakh are appearing for HSC. Some are based in Gadchiroli, some in remote villages of Konkan, Marathwada etc and these areas come with their own technical challenges.”
She said there was no way to ensure that a secure and guaranteed internet bandwidth can be provided to all students in Maharashtra.
“We have to conduct the exams on the same day for all students. The integrity of the test has to be maintained because these marks are crucial. On the basis of SSC and HSC scores, students get admissions in a variety of courses so naturally the competition is also very high. But conducting the exam online could run into trouble with technical problems,” said Gaikwad.
About postponing the exams so that it begins in end of May and continues till June/July, Gaikwad said the weather conditions of Maharashtra has to be looked at. “In Vidarbha, the summers are as unbearable as monsoons in Konkan, which is definitely not conducive to holding board exams. It will inconvenience students across the state. Hence, the best solution was to start the exams in April, which we have now finalized,” said Gaikwad.
Exams begin from April 21 and end on May 21. In a normal year, these exams would have wrapped up in March itself.