MSCE circular to hold scholarship exams offline on May 23 irks educationists

Even as the state is reeling under the second wave of the pandemic and almost all examinations have either been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, a notification issued by the Maharashtra State Council of Examination (MSCE) on conducting scholarship exams offline on May 23 raised the ire of educationists.

MSCE conducts scholarship exams for Class V and VIII students, which was earlier scheduled to take place on April 25, but pushed ahead to May 23 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Currently, lockdown-like restrictions are in place in the state until May 15 to control the surge in Covid-19 cases. Competitive exams like IIT JEE, NEET and state board exams have been either postponed or cancelled, keeping students’ safety in mind.

However, a May 5 circular, issued by the MSCE, has raised concerns among teachers, principals and school managements as it laid down the rules to conduct offline scholarship exams on May 23, detailing the appointment of exam centre in-charge, invigilators and peons.

The circular stated that the sealed exam papers would reach the centres by May 15. The circular has got educationists worried as they are concerned about calling students to schools amid rising Covid- 19 cases.

Maharashtra Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki agreed that it is not advisable to conduct physical exams at this stage and he would instruct relevant authorities.

Tukaram Supe, commissioner, MSCE, said the concerns had been brought before him. “We have decided to put exams off to another date, will issue the circular soon,” he said.

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