Delhi schools gear up for two-part CBSE Board exams to start next month

The CBSE — the largest education board in the country in terms of the number of students enrolled and schools affiliated— on Thursday said the full schedule of the Term 1 exams, to be held in November and December, will be announced on October 18
Currently, only students from classes 9 to 12 are allowed to attend physical classes. (Hindustan Times)
Currently, only students from classes 9 to 12 are allowed to attend physical classes. (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 16, 2021 02:03 AM IST
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ByKainat Sarfaraz, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A day after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that the first of a two-part system of board examinations this year will be held in-person, schools across the national capital said they have started gearing up for the new mode of examination scheduled to start next month. There are over 2,100 CBSE-affiliated schools in Delhi.

The CBSE — the largest education board in the country in terms of the number of students enrolled and schools affiliated— on Thursday said the full schedule of the Term 1 exams, to be held in November and December, will be announced on October 18.

The 90-minute Term 1 examination will have objective type questions while Term 2 examinations, scheduled to take place in March-April, may have subjective or objective type questions, but that and the schedule will depend on the pandemic situation at that time.

In order to simplify the schedule, the CBSE has split the Term 1 exam subjects into minor and major subjects, with those classified as minor (mostly electives), being held first. There are nine major subjects for Class 10, and 19 for Class 12. These include core subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, and economics, among others.

“As major subjects are offered by almost all affiliated schools, exams of these subjects will be conducted after announcing the date sheet as was done earlier. As for minor subjects, the CBSE will make groups of schools offering these subjects and more than one subject exam will be conducted in these schools on the same day,” the board circular said on Thursday.

Talking about the revised process, Awadhesh Kumar Jha, head of Sarvodaya Co-ed Vidyalaya in Sector 8, Rohini, said arranging the requisite number of question papers will be a challenge.

“Getting photocopies of encrypted question papers will be a challenge as our school doesn’t have a fast photocopier machine and these have to be copied within a stipulated time frame. We cannot use commercial stores since the question papers are confidential. Arranging fast photocopier machines, which are expensive, at short notice will be difficult for the school. It will be easier if the board arranged the necessary number of question papers and distributed them through zonal centres,” he said.

Principal Sukhbir Singh Yadav, president of government principals’ association, said the earlier method of collecting question papers from designated points or banks will be easier.

“Starting Term 1 exams with minor subjects is a good move as students will be able to ease into mindset of appearing for the Boards. We are also waiting for clarity on how many students there will be in each school. Since this is the first time that board exams are being held in November, it will be a challenge to maintain continuity of classes for junior students, while conducting board exams simultaneously,” he said.

Private schools, however, said managing an increased number of students will be a challenge if classes for junior students are also restarted before board examinations. Malini Narayanan, chairperson of the National Progressive Schools Conference, which has 122 Delhi schools as members, said, “Until now, we only had in-person classes for students of classes 9 to 12, while the remaining are continuing with online study. If schools reopen for classes from nursery to 8, we will feel the strain while conducting the board exams and we would need extra help at that point.”

Last month, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had said it would consider allowing schools to resume in-person classes for students of classes 6 to 8 after the festive season.

Narayanan also said printing question papers within a stipulated time frame would require more manpower in private schools as well. “As far as academic preparation is concerned, we have started practising with OMR (optical mark recognition) sheets in all our schools so that students have some familiarity with the new mode of examination. The type of questions is also different — more questions will be based on case studies, reasoning, and assertion. So, we have been training our students for that as well,” she said.

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Friday, December 03, 2021