The uncertainty, in the face of the controversy over the choice of the date, has left the students of the nearly 14,000 CBSE schools clueless.
The board is undecided whether to stick to the two-day schedule or ask students to participate in the event before December 25. There is a high possibility of a change in the schedule, sources said.
The HRD ministry had Wednesday said the CBSE would issue instructions but, according to the principal of a private school in Delhi, no word had arrived till this evening. "We have got to know through media reports that there will be an online essay competition. But there is no confirmation on this (from the board)," said the principal.
The CBSE is currently without a regular chief. Satbir Bedi, a joint secretary in the HRD ministry, is holding additional charge as the board chairperson. She could not be contacted for comment.
But the sources said the board might change the dates for the competition, keeping out Christmas Day.
The ministry has already rescheduled the activities proposed for "Good Governance Day" - meant to mark the birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee - in central universities and in the IITs and the IIMs.
While it had initially asked the institutions to hold the activities on December 25, revised instructions were sent on Monday asking them to organise them any day before December 25 as Christmas Day is a holiday.
But teachers' associations have criticised the way the government is passing diktats to universities.
"If Good Governance Day is to be observed, issues like how and when to organise it should be decided by the university. But here, the ministry is imposing the decision on the university asking for conduct of a seminar and an oratory competition on December 25 and later rescheduling them to any day before December 25. This action of the government is against the spirit of good governance," said former Delhi University Teachers' Association (Duta) president Aditya N. Mishra.
Current Duta president Nandita Narain seized on the controversy to renew the association's demand for action against DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh over alleged financial and administrative irregularities.
A planned seminar on the topic of "Use of Technology and Innovations in promoting Good Governance" will be ineffective if the government doesn't take action against Singh, Narain said in a release.
She also said many students had left for their hometowns ahead of the winter break. "Mere tokenism in the form of this hurriedly arranged seminar and the oratory competition would also not reap the desired results because most outstation students, comprising a large section in the university, have already left for their hometowns," Narain said.
DU is closed from December 19 to January 5. JNU is already in vacation since December 6.