Pune: At least 44% of students between the age group of 15 to 18 years have been vaccinated with the first dose of covid vaccine, in the Pune district, as per the health department. The vaccination is at pace. Amid this, the students of class 10 and class 12 have started to prepare for the offline exams.
The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) or Class 10 and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or Class 12 exams for the Maharashtra state board are scheduled in March and April this year.
As per the health department, over 245,535 students have received the first dose till January 18 in the Pune district. There are a total of 553,190 students in the district eligible for the vaccine.
Across Maharashtra, a total of 43.44 percent of students in the age group had received their first dose of Covaxin.
The age group of teaching and non-teaching staff was eligible for vaccination long back and hence are vaccinated. While most schools follow Covid’s appropriate norms and behavior, offline examination seems more likely this year.
Sneha Waghmare, a student of Class 10, said that she received her first dose as soon as the vaccination drive started for the age group.
“My vaccination dose was arranged at my school itself. Class 10 students were given an early dose to ensure that we get the doses before our final exam starts. Last year there was a lot of confusion and delay regarding the offline exam. But this year, because we have the vaccination, it looks like we will have to give the exam offline. My classmates and I have already started preparing likewise with regular practice of writing,” said Waghmare.
Another student from Class 12, Amruta Kulkarni shared similar views.
“I got the first dose in the first week of vaccination. And I hope the exam is offline this year. I have been studying very hard for my final exam,” said Kulkarni.
Milind Telawne, a city-based parent, said that at least for higher classes, there should be an offline examination.
“Because of online classes and online education from the last one and half years, we have seen that students are not in the habit of writing. However, if they know that an offline exam will be conducted, they will start preparing. Unlike last year, this year’s students are getting vaccinated and the board is also firm on their stance. So, students are excited about the offline examination. If all students get vaccinated, conducting offline tests with Covid appropriate norms can be easier. It also sends a good message to students from other standards,” said Telawne.
Sharad Gosavi, chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), said that we are firm on offline examination as of now.
“We have taken all necessary steps to ensure that students are safe. We are discussing with the education minister as to how can these exams be conducted in a safe environment for children and staff,” said Gosavi.
Last year, when the board was preparing for an offline examination, the centers for students were the same as their school or junior college. As per education board officials, discussions are ongoing on similar lines.
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