Delhi Schools Reopen Next Week For Classes 10, 12; Attendance Optional

The Delhi government decision comes ahead of the May 4 board exams for classes 10 and 12 that are conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education.

New Delhi:

All schools in Delhi have been allowed to reopen for students of classes 10 and 12 from next Monday, January 18, in view of the board exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that start on May 4.

Though schools will keep a record of those who come, attendance will not be compulsory, the Delhi government said.

Students can come to school only if their parents allow. "Children will not be forced to come... Permission is being given to open schools for practicals, projects, counselling etc. for classes 10 and 12 classes from January 18," Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said.

"Head of school must make a plan for practicals, pre-board related academic activity, projects etc.

Stating that even though most of the syllabus has been completed, a circular issued by the Directorate of Education, Delhi, add "schools are being reopened so "doubts and difficulties can be cleared by teachers" with the intention of promoting students' mental well-being.

"All internal assessment should be done during this period and proper records should be maintained" so marks can be uploaded on the CBSE website, it adds.

The circular urges schools to focus on "modifications in the question papers" from this academic year, and ensure enough "written practice".

Schools that reopen will have follow the standard operating procedure or guidelines issued in view of the coronavirus pandemic, including social distancing, compulsory mask wearing, and sanitisation, besides others.

The circular, however, does not clarify how will those, who choose to continue with online classes, catch up.

Last year's coronavirus outbreak-induced closure of schools had disrupted the conduct of board exams which were later completed in June. Schools have since remained closed and learning has moved online as waves of COVID-19 hit Delhi. The challenges have forced the CBSE to slash its syllabus for classes 10 and 12 considerably.

Coronavirus cases in India and Delhi are well under control with a national positivity rate of 2 per cent and under 1 per cent in the capital. The country has recorded more than 1.04 COVID-19 cases till now and over 1.5 lakh deaths.