The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Exam blues bury Cup cheer
March 3
March 3
March 31
March 3
April 2
March 3
March 22
March 3
April 5
Annual exams
in most

Feb (third week)
The World Cup begins on
February 9 and will continue
till March 23

Cricket is in the February air, but exams are playing spoilsport.

How’s that: A day after the World Cup finals on March 23, ICSE students must appear for their economics paper, ISC students for their biology paper and CBSE students for their Class XII computer science paper. So, while cricket-lovers throughout the country will be glued to their TV sets on Sunday, March 23, students appearing for their Board exams will be poring over their books for yet another examination clashing with the Cup calendar.

In fact, all school-leaving exams conducted by major Boards, as well as the annuals in most schools, are scheduled to start from the end of this month and carry on well into March (see box). While acknowledging the fact that the exams will take the fun out of the World Cup for students, Board officials have clarified that the schedule cannot be changed.

“We understand that many students will find it difficult to concentrate on their studies during the Cup. But there is nothing we can do, because the examination dates cannot be switched on such grounds,” said G. Arathoon, deputy secretary and head of the east zone office of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.

According to Arathoon, former principal of an ICSE school, nearly 200 ICSE institutions in Calcutta and the districts will also not be able to reschedule the dates of their annual examinations for the World Cup. This is because all ICSE schools are required to begin their new academic sessions by mid-April.

N. Banerjee, senior official of Birla High School, under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), said he had a tough time tackling a section of his students demanding a change of dates. “We told them not to neglect their studies and repent later, as the matches will be replayed on TV,” said Banerjee.

Students in Madhyamik schools must also keep a safe distance from the Cup. “We will have to complete the entire process of annual exams and distribution of report cards to the students before April. We cannot make any changes in the examination schedule for the World Cup. We are sorry that the students will miss much of the fun on TV,” said N.G. Khaitan, vice-president, South Point School, an affiliate of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

Students across the city are heartbroken. “Imagine, when the entire world will be watching and talking cricket, we will be busy with our books,” rued Anirban Mitra, an ICSE examinee from Don Bosco, Park Circus.

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