Adding to students woes, the Council of Indian School Certificate (CISCE) will announce changes to the ICSE and ISC exam timetables only after 15 days, said the board’s chief on Friday. This comes after Thursday’s announcement that the timetable — announced on December 1 last year — will be rescheduled so as not to clash with the forthcoming assembly elections.
“We will have to work out ways in which to avoid clashing with the polls and this is a time-consuming exercise,” Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary, CISCE told HT.
He said the election commission informed the council about the last date of elections, however, the exam dates had already been published by then. “We prepare our timetable much in advance, unlike other boards,” said Arathoon.
Practical exams will begin as scheduled in February, said Arathoon. But, students said that if the council doesn’t release the new timetable within a couple of days, it will affect their exam preparation. “The exams are less than a month away but we still don’t know the exact dates. This is like preparing for the exam in the dark,” said an ISC student from Santacruz, who did not wish to be named.
Students said they are unable to prepare study-schedules and plan their vacations without the dates being confirmed. “I had prepared a study timetable after meticulous planning. Now I don’t know where to begin, which subject to study first and which to keep aside for later,” said another ICSE student from Malad.
Families that had planned vacations are unsure whether they will need to cancel their tickets. Schools are flooded with queries from parents asking if they should change their vacation dates. However, with principals attending the Anglo-Indian Schools Conference in Lucknow, school offices are having a hard time answering parents.
“Many have planned getaways after exams to help students de-stress. Everyone is anxiously waiting for the new timetable,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal, St Mary’s School (ICSE), Mazgaon.
Swamy added that the council is trying to ensure that the change in the timetable doesn’t affect the exam results. “The council has requested schools, especially those who have been non-co-operative in the past, to provide examiners so that they can complete paper-correction on time,” said Swamy.
Setting up ICSE schools gets easier
The CISCE has reduced the minimum land requirement for setting up ICSE schools in rural areas to 2,000 square metres from 4,000 metres, the same as metro cities. The decision was taken recognizing the fact that land is turning into a precious commodity even in rural areas. “It has become difficult to acquire land even in the villages,” said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary, CISCE.