After students expressed concern over their online practice test falling on Dussehra (Sunday), State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Punjab, has decided to keep the web link for the exam active till Monday, so that all pupils are able to appear for the same.

To help students of classes 6 to 10 perform well in the Punjab Achievement Survey scheduled next month, the SCERT had started its test series across the state from last Sunday. These mock exams are being conducted via Google Forms and comprise five questions each from six subjects — English, Hindi, Punjabi, social studies, science and mathematics.

However, pupils of government and aided schools in the district were left in a fix after the state education department decided to conduct the online practice test on Dussehra.

School principals stated that they had been receiving frantic calls from the teachers that students were not willing to appear in the practice test on Sunday as they would be busy celebrating the festival. The teachers had then sent requests to the higher authorities to conduct the test on Monday instead of Sunday.

A government school principal not wishing to be named said, “We have around 350 students studying in classes 6 to 10 and only a few agreed to take the online test on Dussehra. This became a concern for the subject teachers and even after trying to convince the students, positive response could not be garnered.”

Keeping in view that the students wished to enjoy and celebrate the festival with family, the SCERT authorities decided to keep the online link open till 11pm on Monday.

Confirming the details, SCERT assistant director Shalinder Singh said, “The online link will be open for two days (Sunday 11am to Monday 11pm) and students of classes 6 to 10 can appear in the practice test anytime in the given period.”

A government school teacher requesting anonymity said, “While deciding the schedule to conduct the practice tests, the authorities must ensure that the dates not clash with any festival. For online classes too, we are not receiving much response from students due to Navratri. I am in-charge of 76 Class 9 students. When I informed them about the practice test on Sunday, 50% of them said they won’t participate as it is Dussehra, while the rest didn’t reply.”

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