As schools continue to remain closed due to coronavirus pandemic, the Delhi government has urged the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to not conduct the board exams next year before May and further reduce syllabus. The Directorate of Education (DoE) in a letter to the CBSE, said due to the COVID pandemic, a major chunk of time of 2020-21 academic session (approximately seven months) could not be utilised for classroom teaching learning process as schools in Delhi are closed till October 31.
"Though online, semi-online teaching learning activities are being conducted through live classes as well as worksheets or activity sheets but it cannot replace the physical classroom teaching learning process," the DoE said in the letter.
"In order to provide students with a reasonable time to study in person in schools, it is requested that the ongoing academic session be extended beyond March and CBSE board exams be conducted not before May, 2021. Consequently, the next academic session may commence from July, 2021," it added.
The department has requested to further reduce the syllabus for the current session, keeping the COVID-19 pandemic condition and the leftover time available in the session for classroom teaching.
"The CBSE had reduced 30 per cent of syllabus in all subjects in anticipation of opening of schools in July but schools in Delhi are closed till October 31. It is also requested that sample question papers aligned with the further-reduced syllabus for the session 2020-21 may be prepared as per the latest question paper design and made available for the students at the earliest," the DoE said.
"Practical and project work are an integral part of any subject that include assessment of desired skills and competencies. It is pertinent to give students hands on practice for the same for a sufficient period of time.
It 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," it added.
Universities and schools across the country were ordered shut on March 16 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
On March 25, the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown. While several restrictions have been eased gradually in different phases of the 'unlock' since June 8, educational institutions continue to remain closed.
However, according to the latest 'Unlock 5' guidelines, schools, colleges and other educational institutions outside COVID-19 containment zones can reopen after October 15. The final decision on reopening the institutions has been left with the states and Union territories.
The Delhi government has decided to maintain the status quo on schools' closure till October 31, following which a review of the situation will be done.
(With inputs from PTI)