CBSE’s Std XII theory papers were cancelled earlier, but no notification had been issued regarding practicals.
CBSE’s controller of examination Sanyam Bhardwaj told TOI that schools can take a call at their level. “Our policy on assessment of Std XII will be ready soon. In that, we shall also address the issue of practical exams. Till this comes, schools can definitely put their exams on hold. The choice is theirs,” said Bhardwaj.
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He added that the state laws have to be followed if exams are being held. “If a state or district authority does not permit, then obviously practical exam cannot take place as of now. And even if permission is granted, then practical exams have to be conducted by adhering to all safety protocols,” said Bhardwaj.
There are speculations that CBSE may offer alternatives to conducting physical practicals, as ‘mode’ of conducting practicals is also being discussed, according to sources in the board. Bhardwaj, however, did not comment on this.
Schools feel that CBSE has put them in a tricky spot. “The reason we are pushing for practical exams is that June 11 is the deadline for uploading of marks. So, obviously everything has to be finished by then. Also, conducting practicals involves a lot of coordination with externals as everyone is hopping from one school to the other. So, if any exam is cancelled or put on hold by us now, then the entire schedule goes awry,” said a principal.
Another said CBSE erred in not clarifying this issue at the time of theory paper cancellation itself. “They could have just typed a single line saying that schools have to complete practical exams as per schedule, or that we have to put everything on hold till the new policy is released. This lack of communication means principals are facing flak from parents,” said the principal.