The Delhi government has allowed schools to reopen for students of classes 10 and 12 from January 18. However, the government has directed that students are not bound to come and attendance is completely optional.
Those welcoming the decision said that it will give students the opportunity to clarify their doubts and get into the exam mode before board exams begin in May.
“Students have been home bound for over 10 months. It’s time they go out with due precautions and get into the preparatory mode,” said Samvit Jha, a parent of a class-12 student and an architect by profession.
According to Nimit Sharma, the Delhi government should have stuck to its earlier plan of not reopening schools till a vaccine is available.
“Earlier they said the schools will not reopen till vaccine is available and now when we are almost close to getting one, they are calling students. The exams are five months away,” he said.
Echoing his concerns, Preeti Dhull said, “Though it’s optional for students to go but they will feel compelled due to peer pressure. This will create unnecessary fear of missing out among students and they would want to go despite less requirement.”
Saloni Yadav, a chartered accountant, welcomed the government decision. “This was very important at this stage because students will not be confident before exams otherwise. They have not gone to a classroom even once in the academic session. They have to write exams there, it will prepare them not just academically but also mentally and emotionally,” she said.
While her son is appearing for class 10 exams this year, her daughter is in class 12.
“Also parents who are not comfortable can choose not to send their children. It’s optional,” she said.
Schools have been closed in Delhi since March last year when a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the spread of COVID-19. While several states have reopened schools partially after October last year, the Delhi government was firm on not reopening before vaccine is available.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct board exams for classes 10 and 12 from May 4 to June 10. However, date sheet for the exams has not been announced yet.
Over 3 lakh students have registered from the Delhi region for the Class 10 CBSE board exam while over 2.5 lakh candidates have registered for the Class 12 exam.
The Delhi government had suggested that schools conduct pre-board exams for class 12 from March 20 to April 15 and Class 10 pre-board exams from April 1 to April 15.