All schools within the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) limits have been permitted to conduct offline pre-boards as well as board exams for grades X and XII while schools affiliated to the UK-based Cambridge board will be able to conduct offline exams for classes IX to XII. Schools have however been asked to follow the government’s December 10 standard operating procedure (SOP) for reopening of schools as an preventive measure against the COVID-19 contagion.
A circular (dated January 12) issued by the municipal corporation has granted permission to all boards – the Maharashtra state board as well as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the IGCSE (Cambridge boards) to ‘…conduct all exams announced or to be announced by their respective boards for grade X and XII board exam.’
Grade X boards of both the CBSE as well as the Maharashtra state board will be held in May while the state board’s higher secondary exams (grade XII) exams will be held in April. Approximately 45 city schools affiliated to ‘Members of international Schools association’ (MISA) had appealed for the reopening of Cambridge board schools to conduct class X and XII pre-boards before the UK-based Cambridge educational board commences it pen-and-paper based board exams January 23 onwards.
“Our parents and students (both at IGCSE and AS/A levels) were very anxious as the Cambridge board exams are expected to begin soon (January 23) and there was no assurance that schools will reopen by then. Hence, we had to be proactive in representing our case with the BMC officials who understood and supported us keeping the larger interests of the students in mind. Students all across the country are expected to appear in the pen-paper exams and Mumbai students would have suffered otherwise,” says Francis Joseph, CEO, Crimson Education.
Regular schooling as well as exam schedules have been skewed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic March 2020. However, while schools in the other parts of Maharashtra reopened on November 23 after the Diwali break, the city’s schools remained shut until December end. A December 29 civic guideline further extended school closures until January 15. However, keen on having some in-class or offline sessions with students before the exam season, academicians are in discussions with authorities to resume physical classes for grades IX-XII from January 18.
“As Misa, we have also requested the BMC to reopen schools of the other boards specially for the 9-12 class students as they need to physically familiarise, conduct practical and clarify doubts with their teachers and peers before they write their final exams,” adds Francis Joseph.
Also read: Updated status of Class X and XII board examsNews, States