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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: If there was no pandemic, State matriculation and Plus-II exams for the 2020-21 academic session would have begun from February-March as always. But with schools and colleges still closed and a lot of syllabi pending, Odisha minister Sameer Dash Wednesday informed that the Higher Education department is considering the postponement of the aforementioned exams.

The minister reportedly stated that Class 10 and Class 12 exams are likely to be delayed by three months from the usual time and will be held only when the syllabus is complete after the conduct of classes. However, in case the pandemic situation worsens and restrictions remain in force across the country over the conduct of examinations, then exams would be withheld in Odisha too, hinted Dash.

"This session, it is not feasible to commence the matriculation and Plus-II exams from February and March, respectively as students haven't started preparations for the same. If under any circumstances exams are withheld for a year, a precious academic year of students will go waste," the School and Mass Education Minister stated.

The minister further informed that the State government is making provisions to reopen schools for students of classes 10th and 12th after December 31, 2020, and a decision in this regard will soon be taken.

Recently after a directive was issued by the Mass Education Minister, the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) scrapped the November 5 notification regarding filling up of forms by the students for the 2021 matriculation examination. As per the latest notification issued by the Board, the form fill- up process has been postponed until further orders from the State government.

Even students, parents, and teachers had expressed concerns over all the developments citing that it is unfair to think of conducting matric exams and start preparations for the same when classes are yet to commence in a full-fledged manner.

Schools In Odisha Closed Till December 31

“The department held extensive consultations with various stakeholders and their inputs were taken. Further, the experience of the states where schools had reopened and the fact that a second wave of Covid-19 infection being experienced in some states was noted. Therefore, the state government hereby directs that all schools in the state shall remain closed till December 31, 2020,” an order of the department stated.

However, the government has not put any restrictions on the conduct of examinations (academic, competitive, and entrance tests), evaluation, and other administrative activities. This apart, online and distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged, it said.

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