Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 7
Parents of students are in panic as many city schools are conducting offline examination in the midst of spurt in Covid cases.
“Many schools are unreasonably adamant on holding offline exams. Covid positive cases are on a steep rise across the city and the country. We are afraid that these schools may not become super-spreader hotspots,” said Nitin Goyal, president, Chandigarh Parents Association.
“To avoid a citywide lockdown in the near future, the Administration must immediately close all schools. Even Panjab University is holding its exams online and the CBSE has postponed the board examinations till May-June,” he added.
Although incidences of children testing positive in schools are less in Chandigarh, parents are quite worried seeing the rising number of students contracting virus in nearby districts like Patiala.
“My daughter goes to a school in Sector 9, Chandigarh. A Class XI student, who went to school for giving exams tested positive and yet the principal is adamant on taking offline exams. We have no online option,” said Sheetal, a parent from the city.
“In Punjab, the local health authorities are conducting Covid tests in schools. However, such measures are not being undertaken by the health authorities in Chandigarh. This is why not many cases of school going children testing positive are highlighted here,” said a government school teacher requesting anonymity.
For Classes III to VIII, online exams are being conducted in government schools. However, offline tests will be held for students studying in Classes IX to XII. The exams will start from March 15 and continue till March 31. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has allowed all its affiliated schools to conduct in-person annual examinations for Classes IX and XI.
“For Classes IX and XI, schools should conduct examinations by strictly following Covid-19 protocols as per by-laws,” read the notification issued by the CBSE controller of examinations, Sanyam Bhardwaj.
“We will ensure strict compliance of the Covid protocol as per the CBSE guidelines. However, we are equally concerned about recent Covid spike and review the decision if need be in best interests of our students,” said Rubinderjit Singh Brar, Director, Higher Education, on being asked to conduct offline exams amidst spurt in cases.
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