With schools of state and private boards waiting to conduct preliminary examinations of Classes 10 and 12, they have demanded clarity regarding final dates of board examinations and reopening of offline lectures for practical tests. Schools state they are unable to conduct practical exams of prelims as offline labs and campuses are not permitted to reopen in Mumbai schools by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Practical exams of Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board are scheduled to be conducted from April 1 to April 22 while, internal assessments or practical exams of Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) will be conducted from April 9 to April 28, 2021 tentatively.
Shubhra Nair, a Class 10 teacher of a school at Dharavi said, "If practical board exams are scheduled to begin from April, we need to conduct preliminary practical exams in February so that students get sufficient time to prepare for board exams. But, how are we supposed to conduct practical exams if schools are not permitted to reopen offline?"
In addition, private board schools are conducting preliminary theory examinations via online mode but are unable to conduct practical tests. Samir Sharma, a teacher of a CBSE board school, said, "We have already started conducting preliminary theory exams as the CBSE board Class 10 exams are scheduled to begin from May 4 to June 7 and Class 12 from May 4 to June 11."
Sharma added, "We cannot afford to delay the conduct of exams as prelims help students to prepare, improve their scores and perform better in their final board exams. We are facing challenges in terms of the conduct of practical tests as schools are not allowed to reopen offline for Classes 10 and 12 in Mumbai."
Currently, schools in Mumbai are directed by the BMC to remain shut offline for all standards until further notice in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.