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Extra time in ICSE science

Students taking ICSE will get two hours to write their physics, chemistry and biology theory papers from 2014 instead of one-and-a-half hours.

“We have decided to increase the time for writing the physics, chemistry and biology tests by half an hour to enable students to answer the questions well,” said Gerry Arathoon, the chief executive and secretary of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts the ICSE, on Tuesday.

The council is also considering a proposal to increase the time for writing the ICSE math exam from two-and-a-half hours to three, said a source in the council.

Sources said a number of ICSE schools across the country had for long demanded an increase in the duration of the physics, chemistry and biology theory tests as they felt one-and-a-half hours weren’t enough considering the existing question pattern.

Sujoy Biswas, the principal of Ram Mohan Mission High School, said: “We are happy that the council has agreed to increase the time for answering these three papers, as a minimum of two hours are given for writing the other tests.”

The ICSE physics, chemistry and biology tests are held on 100 marks, 80 for written test and the rest for internal assessment.

The decision to increase the theory examination time was taken at a meeting of the general body of the CISCE on Monday, said a source in the council.

According to Arathoon, in another shift from the existing rules, the council has decided that a permanent no-objection certificate from the state government would no longer be required to upgrade an ICSE school to the ISC (Plus two) level. A provisional certificate would be valid for a school to seek permission to upgrade it to the ISC level, he added.

A no-objection certificate from the state government is a must for setting up an ICSE school. In Bengal, schools are first given a provisional certificate. After three years, a permanent certificate is issued, said a source.

No other state practices this dual-certificate system. At least 40 ICSE schools in Bengal where the upgrade has been pending for want of a permanent certificate will benefit from the council’s decision, the source added.

Arathoon said the council will discuss many issues related to its functioning with the heads of schools during the three-day national conference of the Association of Schools for the Indian School Certificate, an organisation of principals and owners of ICSE schools, to be held in the city from Wednesday.