Pointing to the loss of classroom teaching time this academic year, the Delhi government’s education department has written to the CBSE requesting that the academic year be extended and board examinations not be conducted before May 2021.
The letter, written by additional director of education Saroj Bala Sain to the controller of examinations, states that the request is being made to provide students “reasonable time to study in schools”.
“A major chunk of time of Academic Session 2020-2021 (approximately 7 months) could not be utilised for classroom teaching-learning process as schools in Delhi are closed till October 31, 2020. Though Directorate of Education has conducted online/semi-online teaching-learning activities through live classes as well as worksheets/activity sheets, online teaching-learning process cannot replace physical classroom teaching learning process,” it states.
The letter went on to request that the current academic session be extended beyond March and that board exams not be conducted before May 2021, as opposed to in February-March when they are usually conducted. It also requested that the next academic session begin next July, instead of in April.
Another concern shared by several educators has been conducting the practical work component of various subjects. “It is pertinent to give students hands-on practice for a sufficient period of time. lt is requested that the Board may provide detailed guidelines regarding the conduct of these practical exams under such conditions or any other alternate mode to replace the practical part of the subject,” the letter states.
The education department has also requested CBSE to further reduce the syllabus for this academic session. The Board has already reduced 30% syllabus in all subjects.
In a separate letter, the education department has also requested the board to give class X and XII students more time to pay their examination fees – by extending the last date from October 15 to November 14. “Due to the ongoing corona pandemic, most parents have lost their jobs and their income has been affected badly. Their savings have already been used to meet their daily needs. Facing such problems for continuation of the study of their children, parents are resorting to loans for paying examination fee of their children,” the letter read.
The government had requested the Board to waive the fees this year, but the Board said it is not possible to do so. The government, which had covered this fee last year, is not doing so this year citing a revenue crunch.