In yet another bid to encourage students to pursue their passion for sports, the state government has announced a concession in school attendance for those playing at the state or the national level during classes IX to XII.

According to a government resolution (GR) issued by the state education department on Wednesday, the minimum required attendance for students playing sports at the state or the national level will be 60% as opposed to the 75% which is currently applicable to all. “Students who participate in sports lose out on attendance due to the preparation and competitions. It has been noticed that due to fear of losing out on an academic year due to attendance, lesser number of students participate in sports. This has an adverse effect on both the growth of the student and the sports culture in the state,” said the GR.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council of Indian School Certificate Exam (CISCE) already provide for the concession. The concession will be valid for students participating in events organised by the central government, state government, government approved organisations and the School Games Federation of India.

In case a student cannot meet the minimum requirement of 60%, special permission can be sought. “Exceptionally, if a student does not have 60% attendance, it would be the responsibility of the school principal to seek permission from the district education officer (secondary) to allow the student to appear for the exam,” said the GR.

School principals have welcomed the move. “All this while, schools were going out of the way to ensure that students can participate in sports activities. Sometimes, we held re-exams or condoned students but when the state comes out with such a decision, it is a great move,” said Francis Swamy, joint secretary, Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE), which governs over 150 schools in the city. Principals feel the move will encourage students in the rural parts of the state to pursue sports. “This will be an advantage for those living in small towns, which lose out time in travelling,” said Prashant Redij, Maharashtra Principals Association.