Maharashtra state government recently cancelled the Class X board exams while postponing the Class 12 exams amid rising COVID-19 infections in the state. Since then, the state education department has been preoccupied in drafting alternate assessment methods to replace the SSC board exams 2021. However, department is witnessing a growing demand of parents and students in the state to take a similar decision for HCS board exams 2021 as well. Amid this growing demand, Varsha Gaikwad, the Education Minister of Maharashtra, conducted a virtual meeting on Monday, April 26, 2021.
Present at the virtual meeting were the heads of 14 junior colleges located in Mumbai, three institutes in Pune and one junior college in Nagpur. According to the college heads, Class 10 students must be provided with their mark sheets. Furthermore, concerning board authorities must be involved in the marking process to mitigate any bias from the marking process. Different alternative methods, unique marking techniques and criteria was also discussed during the virtual meeting.
The virtual meeting conducted on Monday was the second meeting in a row conducted by the education minister with the concerned state authorities. According to Gaikwad, the meeting was conducted with principals and vice-principals of various junior colleges located in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur districts.
The virtual discussion was one of the strategies devised by the state education department to enable a fair and efficient assessment system and admission process for Class 10 students. The meeting witnessed various innovative suggestions and valuable insights.
The co-founder of School Leaders Network (SLN), Francis Joseph, was one of the attendees of the virtual meeting. Joseph shed light on the discussion by stating that junior college authorities strongly emphasized the need to provide mark sheets to Class 10 students. Moreover, the involvement of education boards in the assessment process is of paramount importance.
Principal of St.Andrew’s College, Bandra, Marie Fernandes, clarified that multiple suggestions were given during the virtual discussion. These suggestions included calculating the Class 10 results based on internal assessments, preliminary exams and overall performance of students in the past three years.
The principal of South Bombay’s college was also present at the virtual meeting held on Monday. According to the principal, schools must not be allotted complete responsibility of determining results for Class 10 students. Moreover, state or private education boards must formulate certain criteria to assess students. These boards must also establish a just marking system while mitigating any sort of bias.
Every year, approximately 17 lakh students appear for SSC Board exams while more than 13 lakh students appear for HSC Board exams in the state of Maharashtra. However, this year, the state education board was compelled to cancel the Class 10 state board exams. As per reports, the state is unlikely to take any decision regarding the HSC board exams unless CBSE or CISCE impose any further changes.