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CBSE exam 2021: Private schools, parents at odds over offline exams – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Secondary Education’s instructions that exams should be held offline has put many private schools in a quandary. More than 100 parents of Class IX students in one Delhi institution wrote in to express their opposition to the classroom examinations. In another, the older schedule for the exams had to be withdrawn and a new one, with dates for both online and offline exams, is being worked out.

Madhulika Sen, senior advisor at Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, said 10 principals met on Thursday to discuss the issue. “We spoke with CBSE and were told we would have to abide by the examination by laws. The CBSE official was also clear that no other agency had a say on the board’s examination rules,” said Sen. “However, in the meeting, the principles agreed that parents were up in arms. So, we are figuring out what to do.”

Sanyam Bhardwaj, controller of examinations, CBSE, responded, “All students of classes IX and XI are attending offline classes. The schools too have taken all precautions against Covid. Some people have brought to my notice the problem of school conveyance and generally, that is the problem, not offline examinations.”

At Springdales, Dhaula Kuan, around 105 parents of Class IX students wrote to say they didn’t want to send their children to school for exams. A parent grumbled, “Children are stressed about suddenly going for physical exams after a year of online classes. There’s no school transport either. Should I go to work or drop the children at 8.30 am and pick them up at 12.30 pm?”

While The Indian School is yet to decide on the mode of its examinations, a branch of Bal Bharati School is reworking the examination date sheet after parents objected to the offline tests. A school official said, “Many Class XI parents said that they wanted an online examination. We had prepared question papers only for the offline mode.”

Many institutions have, however, decided to go ahead with offline exams. At Springdales School, Pusa Road, the practical exams will begin on Monday. Principal Ameeta Mulla Wattal said, “I am only following the orders of the government. The director of education tweeted that students in government schools are writing the exams — so are we to say that the life of a government school student is less important than that of a private school student? There’s 90% attendance in regular classes despite their being optional, so why not exams?”

Some schools had already conducted online exams and are now calling the students back for classroom exams as directed by CBSE. But Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, received no feedback from the parents even after the date sheets for offline exams were released. Such principals will consult the directorate of education about what to do.

The situation is different in government schools. A K Jha, principal, Government Co-ed Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 8, Rohini, said, “The fear of parents and students has vanished. When we held exams for classes X and XII, almost 99%of the students wrote the papers.”

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