Lockdown restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and uncertainty over when schools will finally be able to reopen in the city, has thrown plans and preparations of students enrolled in schools across the city out of gear. Parents of class 9 students facing re-exams before promotion to Class 10, are concerned that there will be much shorter time left than usual to prepare for their board exams once promoted.
While parents of some Class 9 students at Victoria High School in Mahim, facing re-exams once school reopens, had raised concerns about studying for re-exams and class 10 simultaneously, and the shorter duration that will be left to focus on board exams, the situation is not unique to the school and applies to schools across the state.
The state government had earlier stated that exams from class 1 to 8 stand cancelled, and that those for class 9 and 11 will be held after April 15. On April 12, state school education minister Varsha Gaikwad then announced cancellation of second semester exams for Class 9 and Class 11 which were to be conducted by the schools and junior colleges respectively. Students would be promoted on the basis of the previous exams.
Father Denzil Fernandes, the principal of Victoria High School has said that no letter or circular was issued by it to parents, regarding promotion of students to Class 10.
Fernandes said, “Parents were informed that results would be declared shortly. Results of standard 9 were communicated individually. Those detained were to have a re-exam when the school reopens. The Education Department has not issued a circular nor has the State Government issued any GR that students of standard 9 were to be promoted to standard 10 without exams.”
“As per the Education Department, the final exams to be held in April were cancelled for all schools in the state due to Covid 19. However, guidelines were laid by the department for promotion of Standard 9. The department has its practice of having re-exams for failures in standard 9. This was done every year immediately when school reopens in June. This year, no directives are given for reopening of physical school due to Covid 19. Hence the said re-exam for failures of standard 9 would take place only when the physical school reopens. This applies to all schools in the state,” said Fernandes.
“The situation of the Re Exam is definitely due to the Lock down owing to Covid 19 Pandemic. A situation not created or exclusively to Victoria High School,” Fernandes said.