The state higher secondary council has decided to upload videos of practicals in lab-based subjects on its website to help students ahead of the final practical exams, which start on February 15.
The schools had to suspend their on-campus practical classes on January 3 after a fresh surge in Covid cases. The classes, the first hands-on training at this level for the students, had started only on November 16.
“Experiments will be recorded on camera. Videos containing Powerpoint presentations will be uploaded on the website of the council and the education portal of the school education department by January 31 so this could be of some help to students before the practical exams,” said the president of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, Chiranjeeb Bhattacharya.
The practical exams will continue till March 4 and will be followed by on-campus exams for the theory papers, from April 2 to April 20.
The schools that will record practicals include Sanskrit Collegiate School, Sakhawat Memorial Government Girls’ High School and Birbhum Zilla School.
A teacher of a shortlisted school said they had asked two students from respective subjects to turn up on a given day and attend practical classes under the watch of subject teachers. “Instead of engaging the group-D staff who operate as the lab attendants, we will involve two students from each subject on a given day as this would make the classes more lively for the viewers. Another teacher will shoot the class and share it with the council,” he said.
The schools began conducting practical classes after the campuses had reopened in mid-November. Before that the schools had opened in February for two months.
On November 22, the state government had said students of classes X and XII would attend in-person classes three days a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The students of classes IX and XI were to attend in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The schedule was drawn up following feedback from institutions that attendance had started falling with many guardians not willing to send their wards to schools for long hours on all days.
Jayanta Bhattacharya, headmaster of Hare School, said the opportunity to conduct practical classes shrunk further after the state election commission requisitioned a number of schools for the civic polls in December. “After the Christmas break, as the schools were getting ready to conduct practical classes, the state government shut the campuses following a surge in cases,” said Bhattacharya.
Papia Singha Mahapatra, headmistress of Sakhawat Memorial Government Girls' High School, said: “I have yet to know whether our school has been shortlisted by the council. However, representatives of the council recently called us, seeking to know what are the topics that we have covered so far in lab-based subjects.”