Dipti Singh ,Sep 10, 2015

Source:The Indian Express

Schools asked to not conduct exams during festivals as well as to hold scholarship exams between Sept 14 and 25, even as Ganesh Chaturthi begins from Sept 17.

The school education department within a span of an hour Tuesday issued two contradictory orders, highlighting the lack of coordination between government departments and creating confusion among schools and parents.A general resolution (GR) asked schools to decide on holidays for various festivals and directed education officers to not conduct exams during festivals. However, a circular by the commissioner of education asked schools to conduct scholarship exams from September 14 to 25, during Ganesh Chaturthi. The schools’ and teachers’ associations have now asked for a clarification on these orders from the education department. Uday Nare, a senior teacher in a suburban school said, “We approached the education department for clarification on conducting scholarship exams between September 14 and September 25. Ganesh Chaturthi begins from September 17 and many schools will be closed for five to six days.” After demands from various religious bodies and political parties, the education ministry issued a GR on September 8 asking schools to discuss with the PTA and announce holidays for festivals. The order also asked education officers not to conduct any state level exam during the festival period. The second GR, however, contradicts the first one as scholarship exams have been slated to be held during the festival period. Legislator from teachers’ constituency Kapil Patil said that education minister Vinod Tawde and the education department lacked coordination and hence came out with contradictory orders. “While the GR has directed the education officers not to conduct any exam during the festival period, the circular of the education commissioner mentions that the scholarship exams for English and Maths would be held between September 14 and September 25. This points out that there is no coordination within the education department. Education Minister should first improve the working of the officials in his own department and then demand that teachers should improve their working,” added Patil. Patil said, “The government is operating in a domineering way. In such a situation, schools and teachers have no option but to face parents as well as political parities demanding festival holidays.” The scholarship exams were supposed to be held in July. However, the exams had to be postponed to September 3 for administrative purposes, according to the education department. Meanwhile, Nand Kumar said that there was no contradiction in the two orders. “The festival period starts from September 17 and the exams are to be held from September 14. There is a difference of three days during which the exams can be held. Hence, there is no question of withdrawing the circular,” said Kumar.