CBSE, on Thursday, directed the principals of all affiliated schools to conduct in-person exams for classes IX and XI as schools across the country began reopening in a phased manner. “For Classes 9 and 11, schools should take steps to identify and remedy learning gaps and thereafter conduct examinations by strictly following Covid-19 protocols as per examination bye-laws,” said the CBSE notification.
The decision has caught parents and teachers by surprise, and many raised safety concerns about offline exams as the pandemic situation in Kerala continues to be severe. Posts with hashtag #Online-Examsfor9thand11th were circulating on social media platforms.
Subsequently, principals of CBSE schools in the state started conducting meetings at Sahodaya-level to discuss the conduct of exams. Sources said that most schools, that scheduled exams in February, decided to conduct the exams for Classes IX and XI online, and, if needed, an offline test could be conducted for effective learning assessment when schools return to normal operations. But those planning exams in March will wait for the government’s permission.
“Though the notification directs to conduct offline exams, it clearly instructs to go as per the state government rules. In Kerala, the government is yet to allow offline classes for students studying in all classes except X and XII. Hence conducting offline exams is not an option. But since Class XI annual exam in state syllabus is a board exam, the government is likely to permit offline conduct of exams. CBSE schools too can then conduct offline exams. But until then schools have decided to follow an online schedule,” said an official of Kochi-Metro Sahodaya.