Hosted by Aarathi Ganesan
Edited by Nidhi Rejithlal
On March 20th, Maharashtra’s School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad announced the dates for the Grade 10 and 12 state board exams. They were to commence from the 25th of April. Special COVID-19 precautions were announced for the exams, which were to be held in students’ respective schools and junior colleges.
However, COVID-19 cases have been soaring in Maharashtra, and on April 11th, just two weeks before the exams, Maharashtra recorded a whopping 63,000+ positive cases.
And so, in light of the safety of lakhs of students across the state, Gaikwad postponed the state board exams until late May and early June. While announcing the same in a Twitter broadcast, Gaikwad reiterated that the health of Maharashtra’s students was her topmost priority and appealed to other education boards to consider postponing this years Grade 10 and 12 exams too.
How might this decision support the interests of the students of Maharashtra, many of whom have been struggling this entire year to learn online? Were Maharashtra’s students, and the teachers and students who support them, confident about appearing for this year’s board exams at all? In collaboration with Teach For India, we spoke to two students, a teacher, and a principal to understand more about what preparing for the board exams felt like during a pandemic.