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After flu break,schools race to meet Diwali deadline

The two-week closure of schools forced by swine flu has put teachers and students under pressure. In many schools,teachers are racing against time to complete the portions of the course for the exams usually held before Diwali...

The two-week closure of schools forced by swine flu has put teachers and students under pressure. In many schools,teachers are racing against time to complete the portions of the course for the exams usually held before Diwali,holding extra classes and cancelling holidays.

Several schools cancelled one of the two consecutive holidays that fell on Saturday and Sunday. Students are feeling the heat while parents are keeping their fingers crossed.

The schools are not clear as to when to conduct the semester exam in the absence of any government directive. “We don’t have the faintest idea when to hold the exams. There is hardly any time left for Diwali vacations. The government has not given any clear directives,” said sister Yohanna,principal,St Joseph’s High School,Khadki.

Sister Yohanna said that ideally,the exams should be held before Diwali. “This will ensure that students are free to enjoy their holidays. Already,both students and parents are under tremendous pressure because of the swine flu scare,” she said.

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Quentin Moore,director of Judson School,Pimpri was also of the view that the exams should be conducted before Diwali as it would give teachers enough time to correct answer sheets properly. “Besides,the children will get time to unwind after all that is happening due to the rising swine flu cases,” he said.

Jean Fernandes,principal of Jaihind High School,said that so far the school has only heard about official meetings being held regarding semester exams.

“I will suggest that Diwali vacation should be limited to one week. But then,it will rob children of their holidays. It will be a good idea if summer holidays,which are much longer,are reduced,” she said.

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Conceding that there is some pressure on students and teachers,Sister Yohanna said,“The school is taking steps to ensure that the portion is completed without students being burdened in any way. We are doing it in a way that is comfortable for students. The loss of precious two weeks has indeed affected studies. There will be some pressure on everybody,but what is required is tactful handling of the situation,” she said,adding that she herself has decided to hold extra classes for Class X students.

Moore said his school has decided to cancel offs on Saturdays for the next two months. “This is inevitable to make up for the time lost,” he said.

Fernandes said they have decided to put in maximum efforts to be ready for the exams before Diwali.

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PCMC education officials Hari Bharati said Marathi schools have been hit hard due to swine flu break. Prior to that teachers have been on poll duty for long.

“Marathi schools have been lagging far behind in completing the portions. It is but natural that semester exams are conducted after Diwali.”

“We have suggested that Diwali holidays be reduced and exams conducted a week after schools reopen after Diwali.”

When contacted,deputy director of education Sunil Magar said a decision regarding the exam will be taken in two days.

“The general agreeement is that exams should be held after Diwali as due to the break schools have not been able to cover the courses. But the final decision has not been reached so far. It will be taken in two days,” he said.

First published on: 31-08-2009 at 12:12:40 am
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