While CBSE board exams for Classes X and XII will begin on May 4, state board exams can commence in the last week of May if the school education department agrees, they say.
Many private schools, which conducted half-yearly exams, said students’ performance was poor compared to last year. N Vijayan, senior principal of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said many students were affected psychologically. “They need at least a month to come out of it. Then we need to complete the remaining portions and conduct revision tests. If the school education department does not give sufficient time, their performance in the board exams will be affected,” he said.
Padmaja R, headmistress of Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School in Saidapet, said students had been out of school for more than eight months. “First, they need to come to schools. It will take one week for them to get used to the school atmosphere and improve their attention span,” she added.
Teachers had recommended just one session in the morning in the beginning to prevent multiple entry and exits, sharing food and mingling during lunch breaks. “If they stay in school for more than three hours they will use toilets and the government should ensure proper sanitation facilities in government aided and private schools,” a teacher said.
K John, headmaster of Thiru Vi Ka Higher Secondary School in Shenoy Nagar, said state board exams should be held in the last week of May or first week of June. “With the school education department proposed to reduce 40% of syllabus, schools can finish the portions in 100 working days.”
Former director of government examinations K Devarajan said omitting lessons would leave students struggling in higher studies. “The boards should also think of holding the exams in two phases,” he said.