No decision yet on CBSE exams; state govt told to submit suggestions to Centre by May 25

The final decision on conducting Class 12 exams, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and entrance examinations to professional courses will be taken by June 1, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on Sunday. State governments have been asked to send detailed suggestions on holding Class 12 board exams and entrance exams for professional courses to the education ministry by May 25, the minister said.

This decision was taken at a high-level virtual meeting chaired by Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh and attended by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, Minister of Environment, Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, all state education ministers, education secretaries, and chairpersons of state examination boards and all other stakeholders, on Sunday.

Pokhriyal said, “We have received immensely valuable suggestions. I have requested the state governments to send me their detailed suggestions by May 25. A final decision regarding conduct of Class 12 board exams and entrance exams for professional courses will be taken by June 1. Students will be notified about the exam decision, dates and mode of conduct of exams fifteen days in advance.”

According to sources from the CBSE, the board has explored two options for conducting Class 12 exams amid the pandemic. The first option includes conducting exams for only 19 major subjects at designated centres. Under this option, the entire process, including pre-exam activities and declaration of results will be completed in three months. The assessment of the minor subjects could be done based on the performance in major subjects.

The second option includes conducting exams at schools and instead of three hours, the exams could be of 90-minute duration, comprising multiple option type questions. Students will have to appear for one language and three elective subjects.

The minister said, “I am confident we will be able to arrive at an informed, collaborative decision regarding the Class 12 board exams and remove the uncertainty in the minds of students and parents by informing them of our final decision at the earliest. Safety, security and future of students and teachers are supremely important to us."

Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, who attended the meeting, said, “Bearing in mind the ongoing pandemic situation and the projection that children are vulnerable to new strains of coronavirus, the option of a ‘non-examination route’ for Class 12 students should be actively examined. We will hold further deliberations with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and legal experts on both CBSE and our own state-board exams.”

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