Maharashtra SSC exam to go on, over 17 lakh students don’t have option to ‘stay at home’

Written by Manoj Dattatreya More | Pune |

Updated: March 21, 2020 10:54:44 am

“SSC exams will go on as scheduled,” (Representational Photo)

Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Friday announced that the SSC exam will continue as per schedule, the same day Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to citizens to stay put at home and urged industries to adopt a “work from the home approach” to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

“SSC exams will go on as scheduled,” Gaikwad said at a press conference in Mumbai.

According to SSC board officials, 17,6500 students from nine centres in the state will appear for the remaining two papers on Saturday and Monday. The decision to continue the exams will affect over 17 lakh students from across the state and lakhs of parents who accompany their wards, as they will have to travel to the respective exam centres.

“Each student is accompanied by their parent… if we add teaching and non-teaching school staff, the figure comes to between 35 and 38 lakh,” said Jayshree Marale, the retired principal of a government school.

While both BJP and Congress have criticised the decision, the NCP has extended support to the government. The Shiv Sena said it will discuss the issue with the Chief Minister.

Read | CBSE, PSEB, SSC CHSL JE; list of board/recruitment exams postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

“On one hand, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed to the people to stay at home and work from home… on the other hand, the education minister is asking people to come out of their homes. If SSC exams are cancelled or postponed, the heavens will not fall. The government should rethink its decision,” said BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye.

Congress state spokesperson Sachin Sawant said,”The chief minister has a free hand in taking all necessary steps to control the situation. As for the SSC exam, if lakhs of students and parents are going to come out of their homes, then there is a need to think about it. We will talk to the education minister in this regard”.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said,”It is true that if exams are postponed or cancelled, it will keep students and parents at home, which is what is required at this current juncture. MLA Kapil Patil had met the education minister in this regard….We will also discuss the issue with the chief minister…”.

“Whatever decision the government takes, we will stand by it,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.

Mukund Kirdat, an expert in the field of education and AAP spokesperson, pointed out that the government has cancelled all exams from Class I to class VIII. “Instead of taking a decision on SSC exam, they have taken a decision on junior classes. We believe the SSC exam can be postponed…,” he said.

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