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Maharashtra: Dept. asks schools for data on students, those who appeared for final exams

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The state school education department on Tuesday asked schools to submit data of students from classes I to IX, specifying the total number of enrollments against those who appeared for the final exams in April and those who did not. The data, according to the department, will help it track bogus students.

The circular issued by Director of Education (Primary) Dinkar Temkar provides a chart in which schools have to submit the data. Apart from details such as location of the school, its UDISE number and total number of students, it specifically asks for the number of students who appeared or did not appear for the final exams. The data was to be submitted by 2 pm on Tuesday.

“After coming to know about cases where schools have cleared students who did not appear for exams, this data is expected to provide some clarity. The number of students who do not appear for exams have to be further scrutinized to know how many among them are genuine students,” said a source from the department. The data is also expected to provide clarity on the dropout rate in schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the source added.

Many schools, however, questioned the circular. “The circular only asks for the total number of students and those who appeared for final exams and those who did not. But considering the pandemic, there could be multiple reasons for a student not appearing for the exam. There are so many families who migrated after losing livelihood opportunities,” said a school principal in Mumbai, requesting anonymity.

Speaking on the unrealistic deadline of 2 pm, another principal said, “The circular was issued on Tuesday morning, asking schools to submit the data by 2 pm. This is impossible, as schools are already on break due to summer vacation. The data does not ask for information on results. How are they expected to identify bogus students?” The principal added that the department was in such hurry to collect the data that it has not even followed the regular practice of reaching out to schools.

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