The Council for Indian School Certificate Exams (CISCE) has clarified through a notice that Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory for students taking the ICSE (class 10) and ISE (class 12) semester-2 board exams beginning on April 25 (Monday) and 26 (Tuesday) respectively.
“It has been brought to the attention of the council through media reports that some schools are making it mandatory for the candidates appearing for the board exam semester 2 to be vaccinated (against Covid-19). This is not in keeping with the note sent by the council earlier. The note clearly stated that (the) council advises heads of affiliated schools to encourage the parents and guardians of their schools to get their wards in the age group of 15 to 18 years vaccinated, at the earliest,” stated the notification dated April 22 issued by Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of the council.
Referring to an old directive issued in January, it further stated, “The council reiterates that it was only an advisory to all affiliated schools. it is neither compulsory, mandatory nor a precondition for candidates appearing for board exam semester 2.”
Last week, Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad urged the CISCE to issue an urgent clarification on the vaccine mandate for board examinations. She reached out to the council after some parents approached her regarding the old advisory by the CISCE mandating Covid vaccination for all those appearing for board exams.
“Some schools are citing it to say that unvaccinated students will not be permitted to sit for exams. This despite the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court (saying) that vaccines are not mandatory,” she tweeted on Thursday urging the council to clarify confusion faced by schools and parents.