Meet on Class 12 exams may discuss proposal for tests in major subjects
The Union government has proposed to the states to conduct Class 12 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams for major subjects only, according to the proposal document seen by HT.
Nearly 20 of the 174 subjects offered to Class 12 students are considered major subjects by CBSE. Board students take a minimum of five and a maximum of six subjects out of which four are considered major subjects.
On April 14, the education ministry cancelled Class 10 board examination and delayed the Class 12 board examination amid rising Covid-19 cases in India, saying that the situation will be reviewed on June 1.
This comes ahead of a high-level meeting to be held on Sunday which will discuss whether Class 12 exams should be cancelled or conducted as per different proposals, officials privy to the matter said. The meeting to be attended by state education ministers and secretaries will be chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced in a series of tweets on Saturday.
“The Hon’ble Prime Minister has desired that any decision affecting the careers of his beloved students has to be taken in wide consultations with all State Governments & Stakeholders. I recently held a meeting with the State Education Secretaries in this regards,” Nishank tweeted.
“The consultative process will be further strengthened through a high level meeting to be chaired by Hon’ble Defence Minister Shri rajnathsinghJi, also to be attended by my cabinet colleagues Smt. smritiiraniJi and Shri PrakashJavdekarJi,” he said in another tweet.
According to the proposal documents, examination for the major subjects can be conducted in two ways. In the first option, the examination for major subjects may be conducted at the “designated examination centres and in the existing format” like previous years and for the minor subjects “marks can be calculated as per the assessment scheme based on the performance in the major subjects.”
Conducting examination in this mode will only be possible if the board has three months which would include “one month of pre-exam activities and 2 months for the conduct of exams and declaration of results and another 45 days for compartment exams”, according to the document.
The second option involves multiple changes, including conducting exams at schools where the students are enrolled, reducing the duration of examination from three hours to 90 minutes, and switching to only multiple choice and short answer type questions. The process, as per the second proposal, can be completed in 45 days and results can be declared within 15 days of completion of the exams.
The second proposal also includes that the examination can be conducted twice depending on the pandemic situation in various parts of the country. “The Class XII Examinations could be conducted two times by the Board. Wherever the conditions are conducive, examinations could commence from a suitable date. In the remaining locations, the examinations will start after a fortnight of the first phase,” the document states.
CBSE officials declined to comment on the proposals.
Meanwhile, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia hosted an Instagram live session with the stakeholders including teachers, principals and students of Delhi schools and sought their suggestions on the matter.
Delhi government officials said majority of the school teachers and principals who attended the session said that final grades should be awarded on the basis of unit tests, practical examinations, general tests and pre-board exams already conducted in February-March 2021.
“The consensus that emerged from all the meetings with these key stakeholders was that in the absence of vaccines to children, conducting any kind of examinations will only make our students and teachers more vulnerable to the virus. With the surge of Covid-19 cases, teachers and principals stated that the most appropriate decision with regard to Class 12 board exams would be to completely cancel them,” the Delhi government said in a statement.
Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School, who was present at the meeting said, “Many school administrators said that online examination cannot be conducted due to the digital divide. The discussion focussed on either cancelling the examination or tests for major papers only.”