External examiner to frame questions based on council guidelines
A visiting examiner, and not the Council for Indian School -Certificate Examinations (CISCE), will set the questions for the ISC practical exams this year.
Schools in Kolkata are now gearing up to help students and teachers get acquainted with the changes introduced by the council.
The visiting examiners will set the question papers for practical exams to be conducted in each school following detailed guidelines issued by the council. Each lab would accommodate not more than 15 students. The exams will be conducted in batches with separate sets of questions for each batch.
The CISCE has asked schools to conduct the ISC practical exams between April 1 and May 31. The external examiner will evaluate the practical exam scripts in the school itself. The schools will have to upload the practical exam marks by May 31.
Indrani Sanyal, the principal of DPS Megacity, said the best way for students to prepare for the exams would be to read every chapter thoroughly. “The arrangements made by the council are the best, keeping in mind that COVID-19 protocol has to be maintained in the labs. It's true that students will be broken into small groups for each practical exam and every group will get a separate question paper but there is no reason to panic. It is one of the most important exams of their lives and if they study seriously they have no reason to worry,” Sanyal said.
Sarmistha Banerjee, the principal of Vivekananda Mission School, Joka, said the schools will not only have to prepare students but also the teachers. “We have read the communication from the council very minutely. According to me, teachers need to be more prepared for this new exam system than the students. It will be extremely important for the school heads to percolate the minute details regarding how the exam has to be conducted to their subject teachers chosen by the council to visit other schools as external examiners. This will be extremely important to ensure that justice is done to all the students,” she said.
The concept of CISCE sending external examiners during practical exams is not new, however this is the first time that they will be setting question papers.
At Modern High School for Girls, principal Damayanti Mukherjee welcomed the council’s decision. “If I remember correctly, external examiners have been visiting schools since the last two years during practical exams. So, that’s not new. And, no matter how the question papers are set, our students are well prepared for the exam,” she said.
Seema Sapru, the principal of The Heritage School, agreed. “We have been calling our students to school since February 12 and making them practise in the lab. The council has given detailed guidelines for setting the questions and provided suggestions too. So, if they study everything and have a clear understanding of the topics, I do not see any reason to panic,” Sapru said.
With several large labs, Adamas International School hopes to be able to conduct the exams in small batches at one go. “We are hoping that we would be able to have exams following all COVID-19 safety protocol at one go. We have several labs and all of them are huge. But the final decision will be taken after discussing with the superviser, external examiner and ISC exam convener. We are currently preparing for the same,” principal Mittra Sinha Roy said.
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