Update 5.30pm UAE.
The Indian Embassy in the UAE has confirmed that all Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Kerala State Board, and other state board examinations for Grades 10 and 12 will go ahead as planned. Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) and ADEK similarly confirmed that there would be no cancellation or postponement. Although no official confirmation has come from the KHDA, the Indian High School stated that "Unless and until the board advises otherwise, we will be organizing the exams for students."
Mick Gernon, Chief Education Innovation Officer at GEMS Education said, "Our Grade 10 and 12 CBSE students still have a small number of public exams to complete between now and March 20. We have everything in place to ensure that those examinations continue as planned.".
According to Zubair Ahmed, the head of HR and Administration at Springdales School Dubai, said, "All board exams will go ahead as scheduled. This directive has come from the board in India."
In a written statement to the media, the Embassy said, "The Mission has taken up the issue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ministry of Education, and the Department of Abu Dhabi Education and Knowledge. All have assured us that the examinations for classes 10, 11 and 12 boards will continue to be held as scheduled, with additional health and safety protocols."
According to information from the Consul General of India to Dubai, Vipul, following discussions with the Ministry of Education, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India in Dubai, a decision will be taken "as soon as possible", and delivered to schools and parents before the end of school working hours today.
The Board's Grade 10 exams began on 15th February and will end on 20th March. Grade 12 exams started on February 22nd and were to go on until March 30th. There are two exams scheduled for today and tomorrow, which on the basis that schools will remain open this week, are expected to go ahead as planned.
The Board examinations for Grades 10 and 12 are held simultaneously for students across all CBSE-curriculum schools throughout the world. If exam dates are changed, it would mean that the CBSE Examination Board would need to draw up new question papers for schools in countries affected by closures arising from the Covid-19 crisis.
Parents of students in other curriculum schools, which similarly offer worldwide examinations and which take place on the same dates in each country, face similar concerns for students taking I/GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate Examinations in May and June this year.
Although schools may have re-opened, this is a crucial time in the run up to the examinations and many parents have expressed concern about their children being disadvantaged compared with students overseas whose schooling has not been disrupted.
Schools in South East Asia offering the IB curriculum have been permitted to extend coursework deadlines for IB Diploma students in light of closures in Hong Kong and Singapore. No doubt UAE schools will also be seeking clarification from the Examination Boards as to how the closure in the UAE is likely to impact their students.