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ICSE council rethink after Bengal government stand

CISCE notified schools on partial reopening from Sept 21; state announced institutions will remain shut till Sept 30
The Union home ministry had issued guidelines last month saying students from Classes IX to XII could be permitted to visit school from September 21 with written consent from guardians to take guidance from teachers.

Mita Mukherjee   |   Calcutta   |   Published 17.09.20, 02:49 AM

The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has notified its schools on partial reopening for students seeking guidance with parental consent from September 21 but the council may reconsider the approach in Bengal after the state government said schools should stay shut at least till September 30.

The CISCE on Wednesday sent the schools the notification on the partial reopening and suggested that the time be utilised to make up for lost classes on “project” and “practical” work.

On the same day, the Bengal government said that schools in the state would not reopen at least till September 30.

Gerry Arathoon, the council chief executive and secretary, told Metro on Wednesday evening: “We will soon hold a meeting (to discuss Bengal).” A fresh notification may be “issued in a day or two” specifically for Bengal.

“It is not possible for students who will appear in the ICSE and ISC exams next year to do practical work at home. So, when the ministry of home affairs issued the guidelines, we decided to enable students to do some practice in practical work,” Arathoon said.

The Union home ministry had issued guidelines last month saying students from Classes IX to XII could be permitted to visit school from September 21 with written consent from guardians to take guidance from teachers.

Earlier in the day, Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee told this newspaper that all educational institutions in the state would be kept closed at least till September 30, as announced by the state government.

“I am not aware about the ICSE council’s decision…. Our government had announced that all educational institutions in the state will remain closed till September 30. There is no change in the decision,” Chatterjee said.

On Tuesday, Chatterjee had said the state government was in no position to tell when schools and colleges could resume in-person classes, given the spread of Covid.

The council in its notification has advised the schools to enable students, particularly those appearing in the Class X and XII board exams, to do practical on prescribed topics in school laboratories as the “hands on” practical work could not be performed earlier because of the pandemic and the lockdown. 

“Hands-on practical work could not be carried out earlier... The schools are advised to utilise this period to perform sufficient practical work in the laboratories, as per the topics mentioned in the reduced syllabus. Thereafter, some of the practical work may be graded and the marks recorded,” the notification says.

The schools have also been advised by the CISCE to utilise the partial reopening to complete project work and ensure the projects are submitted to the subject teachers by a deadline.

The notifications advised  “affiliated schools to perform the following activities: Completion of the project work…. Practice and completion of practical work”.

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