The Maharashtra state board of secondary and higher secondary education announced that offline exams would be held as per schedule in the state, amidst strict covid protocols. Thousands of students are staging protests against the Maharashtra government’s decision to conduct Class 10, 12 board exams in offline mode. While protests at Jalgaon and Aurangabad remained peaceful, it turned violent in Mumbai and Nagpur, with some students damaging private and police vehicles by pelting stones and blocking roads.
The students allege that amid the scare of the third wave of Covid-19, the government should conduct online exams considering the safety of students. Here’s all you need to know.
When will the Maharashtra board conduct Class 10, 12 exams?
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had released the Class 10, 12 board exam datesheet in December. The exams for Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) will be conducted from March 4 to March 30, while the examinations for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) will be held between March 15 and April 24. The exams will be conducted in offline mode.
Why are students protesting?
Maharashtra board Class 10, 12 students have been expressing their dissent against the offline board exams through various social media platforms. They have also raised concerns over the shortage of time to complete the syllabus before the board exams 2022.
The call for the protest was given by a social media influencer Vikas Fhatak, alias ‘Hindustani Bhau’, who allegedly makes abusive videos on social media.
On January 29, Fhatak had uploaded a video on his fan page account on Instagram, asking students to come out and “peacefully protest” against the government’s decision in Dharavi outside the residence of Gaikwad.
Police later arrested Vikas Fhatak and his aide Ikrar Khan for orchestrating the protest in Dharavi where over a 1,000 students, mostly minors, blocked the roads and some of them took to violence, damaging vehicles, including police vehicles, and were lathi-charged by police. He was produced before a magistrate court in Bandra and remanded in police custody, along with his aide till February 4.
What is government’s stand on the exam?
The Maharashtra government, meanwhile, has said that it is unwilling to reconsider its decision to hold offline exams. It has also given orders to initiate an inquiry into the state-wide protests.
State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said, “I have given orders to the police department to check what all factors led to the incident. In the last two days, some videos went viral in which provocation was given to protest in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. This was a planned protest carried out by some organisations and we will take appropriate action against them. About the issues raised by students, the education minister and chief minister will look into the matter and will find an appropriate solution.”