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Majority states favour holding Class 12 board exams,CBSE proposes 2 options

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

NEW DELHI: At a high-level meeting on Sunday, a majority of the states favoured holding the Class 12 board exams and said they would study the two proposals mooted by the CBSE.

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Meanwhile, the ministry of education has sought detailed suggestions from state governments regarding the same by May 25.

However, states like Maharashtra government said that “non-examination route” for Class 12 students should be actively examined. The Delhi and Kerala governments suggested vaccinating all students before the exams. Bengal, which has not cancelled any of its two board exams, will take a call next week.

Shortly after the meeting, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the government will take a decision soon to remove the uncertainty among students and teachers.

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“The meeting was extremely fruitful as we received immensely valuable suggestions. I have requested the State Governments to send me their detailed suggestions by May 25. I am confident we will be able to arrive at an informed, collaborative decision regarding the exams and remove the uncertainty among students and parents’ minds by informing them of our final decision at the earliest,” Pokhriyal tweeted.

“I want to reiterate that both students’ and teachers’ safety, security, and future are supremely important to us,” he added.

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh chaired the over two-hour long meeting. Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Sanjay Dhotre were among those who attended the meeting besides education ministers and secretaries of several states and union territories.

CBSE proposes two options:

According to a senior official present in the meeting, “It was proposed that CBSE can conduct exams in the present format for major subjects and the marking for remaining subjects can be done on the basis of performance in the papers for which offline exams will be conducted. The board said the exams can be conducted using this option and increasing the number of centres to ensure social distancing.

“The other option that was proposed was changing the pattern of the exam. If this option is chosen, the exams can be conducted in home schools of students, the duration can be reduced to 90 minutes rather than three hours and the questions can be objective type. The students can also be given an option to appear for any three out of of four subjects in this format.”

According to officials, the options proposed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as well as the feasibility to execute them were discussed at length during the meeting.

A large section of students and parents have been demanding cancellation of board exams.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said his government is not in favour of the options being explored by CBSE to conduct the exams and that going ahead with the process without vaccinating students will prove to be a big mistake.

“Delhi government is not in favour of these options. We cannot play with the safety of students just to fulfil our stubborn wishes. Conducting the examination by toying with students’ safety will prove to be a big mistake. There are over 1.5 crore Class 12 students across the country and 95 per cent of them are above the age of seventeen-and-a-half years,” he said at a press conference post the meeting. He suggested that the Centre should speak to experts to see if the students can be given either the Covishield or Covaxin doses.

The Kerala government too gave a proposal that the Centre should vaccinate all school children against Covid. It further assured that the state government will take all necessary precautions if the exams are held.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said that a decision on conducting the board exams will be taken later based on the schedule of the national entrance exams.

The Tamil Nadu government proposed that the exams can be conducted after the Covid-19 situation subsided in the state.

“Like other states, Tamil Nadu also wanted to conduct the Class 12 exams as they play an important role in deciding students’ careers,” school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi told reporters after the meeting.

Karnataka state primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar said it’s important to conduct the Class 12 exams in the interest of students.

Odisha school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said: “The Centre has provided us with two options. We could conduct the exams after the Covid situation improves or we could cut short the exams to make it easy for the students. Since the state is busy in preparation for the ensuing cyclone Yaas, we will take a decision after it passes.”

The CBSE had on April 14 announced the cancellation of Class X exams and postponed Class XII exams due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The April and May editions of the engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains were also postponed. The board exams, which are usually conducted in February-March every year, were scheduled to be held from May 4.

The CBSE had announced that a decision on the Class 12 board exams will be taken on or after June 1.

Schools across the country were closed in March last year to contain the spread of Covid-19 ahead of a nationwide lockdown.

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