Schools cannot refuse to hold the National Achievement Survey failing which penal action shall be initiated against them, said a circular issued by CBSE.
The survey scheduled on November 12, an exercise to evaluate the learning levels of students.
Students of Classes III, V, VIII and X will have to take a written test that will assess whether there has been any decline in learning during the pandemic.
“...the school cannot refuse to hold the assessment test in its centre, failing which penal action shall be initiated against the school, as per the Board’s Affiliation by-laws 2018,” said the circular.
The circular was posted by the regional officer in a social media group with CBSE principals of schools on Friday.
The circular also says that the schools allotted as NAS 2021 Centre, must be functional on November 12. “Necessary steps may be taken to mobilise students of the selected grades to attend the school on 12th November 2021,” it says.
The Telegraph had earlier reported how schools were apprehensive of sending children for the survey.
In Bengal, 3,165 schools, both government and private, have been randomly selected for the exercise.
Heads of several private schools, affiliated both to CBSE and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) had expressed their apprehension of calling students to the campus, especially primary children.
The Bengal government has given schools a go ahead to reopen from November 16.
Schools had expressed their apprehension because children are not vaccinated and asking many of them to come together might be exposing them to risk.
“We are apprehensive because it is exposing children to risk. Also, how can a survey be mandatory?” said the head of a CBSE school in the city.
“If the board wants to make it compulsory we will request and inform the parents. It is up to them whether they want to send their children,” said another head of a CBSE school.
Some schools have to call students from one class and some up to three. “We are not against the survey but the process should be streamlined and at least timing staggered,” said a head of a CBSE school.
ICSE and ISC schools have not yet received any such circular, several heads said.
A senior of the school education department said the assessment would take place in 3,165 schools from the different boards on November 12 across the state.
“The schools have been asked to make all the necessary arrangements so the on-campus assessment can be carried out following the safety protocols,” said the official.