They questioned the need to appear for an offline exam in March as they have already sat for online tests. “The school is saying appearing for the offline exam is optional, but they are also saying the exam will have 50:50 weightage — 50% from the online exam and 50% from the offline one. So how can that be a matter of choice?” asked a student.
While students gathered on the premises carrying placards, the principal addressed them. “But she couldn’t say anything concrete. Now we are waiting for a response from the school,” added the student.
The director of the school, Jyoti Gupta, claimed that it was not a protest, and the students just interacted with the administration as they had some concerns. Both the directorate of education (DoE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have said the schools are opened for classes IX to XII, said Gupta, adding that parents “have to give consent to the children to come to school”, but it’s not related to the online or offline examination. “If schools are open, the examinations will happen inside the school. Where has CBSE or DoE said there is an option for online or offline examination?” asked Gupta.
Parents question the need to mandate offline exams. “The schools cite the CBSE order and say they cannot do anything about it. It makes no sense at all,” said a parent.
Some parents have received a mail from CBSE, which states, “In view of your concern, please note that CBSE conducts examination for classes X and XII for students of affiliated schools. Class IX and XI examinations are not conducted by CBSE, not supervised by CBSE. Please take up the issue with the state/Union territory government where the school is situated.”
DoE was supposed to hold a meeting with the school principals, but it is yet to take place.
A few schools are still undecided. The Indian School says they have sent a consent form to the parents and provided them with two schedules — one examination in March and another in April. “Since it is extraordinary circumstances, we are providing with the options. Once we get consent forms back, the final decision will be taken,” said principal Tania Joshi.