Every year, more than eight lakh science stream students from both Class 11 and Class 12 would appear for practical tests in physics, chemistry, zoology, and botany before the theory exams. The practical portion carry a maximum of 25 marks which are added to the marks attained in the written exams.
Explaining the importance of the practical exams, a senior official from the School Education Department told DT Next that more than 90 per cent of the students score a minimum of 20 marks in the practical test, enable them to clear the paper if they manage to secure another 15 marks in the theory exam.
“Most of the average students will be keen to attend practical exams, as it would reduce the burden on scoring more marks in the annual exams,” he added.
Noting that there was no clarity as yet about the date of school reopening, especially for board exam students, the official said even if the government allowed schools to reopen in January, students would need at least two to three months to complete at least 60 per cent of lab portions. Therefore, the practical exams are expected to be held only by March or April.
“If practical exams are being conducted in April, the board exams that are usually held in March will also be rescheduled to June or July. If this is going to be the case for both practical and board exams, the summer holidays will not be declared for the students,” the official said.
The government would take a decision on curtailing portions in the practical syllabus, the official said, adding that schools would be informed about the reduction in curriculum.
According to him, the School Education Department would inform the reopening of schools well in advance so that the science labs could be kept ready when the students return. “The requirements of equipment for the lab will be fulfilled,” he added.