Odisha allows Students to appear for Matriculation Exams from Home Centres

Keeping in mind the logistical challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha Board of Secondary Education (BSE) has decided to permit registered students to appear for their matriculation examinations from their home centres. However, to ensure that malpractice is not proliferated as a result of this move, the board has clarified that invigilators and supervisors will be assigned from external centres.

Official sources say that the Board took the decision to prevent students and their parents travelling long distances and staying out of their homes amidst a global pandemic. The examination, which has been delayed significantly to account for the lost schooling hours, is scheduled to commence from May 3 and continue until May 15. An estimated 6.5 lakh students are expected to appear for the exam, based on details available with the BSE.

Samir Ranjan Dash, Odisha’s School and Mass Education Department minister, said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the safety of all involved. “Students of more than 8000 high schools will appear for the Class X board examination at their respective schools. They will face difficulties while searching for rooms near the examination centres or staying in groups. We have to consider what is safe for the health of the children. Hence, we took this decision,” Dash said.

Jahan Ara Begum, an educationist and former BSE president said that the state government has welcomed the move. “It will prevent the students and their parents to travel to other places for the examination during the pandemic. But the government should take strict measures to discourage malpractice in examination halls,” she said.

The department has slashed the syllabus by around thirty percent. This year, students will have to answer fifty marks of objective-type questions by bubbling the dots on an OMR sheet, while the remaining thirty marks will be subjective-type, long answer questions.

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