The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is likely to conduct examinations only in around 20 major subjects, as the Union Education ministry is mulling options to ensure the academic year can move forward. Top ministers of the Modi government, heads of state education boards, and education secretaries will decide on the future of board exams and important entrance tests in a high-profile meeting on Sunday, May 23.
The meeting will be chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the presence of Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani, and Union Minister Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar. It was being considered that only exams in major subjects may be conducted for the board examinations. CBSE offers around 170 subjects.
However, an official said no such decision had been finalised as yet. He added that issues related to providing assistance to children who have suffered a loss in their families especially a parent could come up during the meeting.
In a letter written by Pokhriyal to states/UTs, he stated that the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education and CBSE are exploring options regarding the conduct of examinations, keeping in mind the safety and security of the students and the teachers.
The Department of Higher Education is also deliberating upon the finalisation of the dates of examinations for institutions of higher learning. The letter noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected various areas including the education sector, particularly the board exams and entrance exams.
In view of the prevailing situation, almost all the state education boards, CBSE and ICSE have postponed their Class 12 examinations, 2021. Similarly, the National Testing Agency (NTA) and other national exam conducting institutions have also postponed the entrance exams for admissions to professional courses. Pokhriyal has also sought inputs from all stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, and others through Twitter.
The key meeting comes at a time when the country is still grappling with the severe second wave of COVID-19. The meet will comprise education secretaries, state/UTs education ministers, chairpersons of state examination boards, and stakeholders to discuss proposals for the conduct of class 12 board exams and entrance exams for professional courses, an official statement said.