Many students from the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) board have been requesting the governments to not conduct exams during the second wave of coronavirus and induced lockdowns across the country. The board is likely to conduct class 12 board exams from July 15 to August 26, and the official date sheet for the same will be released on June 1 after it chairs a review meeting to comprehend the approach of holding exams. Exams pattern could be changed after states and Union territories send their recommendations.
The board sent two proposals to the Education ministry, namely holding exams in the format only which has been going on for nearly 20 significant subjects or conducting one-and-half hour objective type exams of major subjects for students in their respective schools which will be their centres.
However, due to the current crisis, various states have reverted to the Education ministry that a second option would be suitable. A 90-minute exam will be held and will have Multiple Choice Questions. Results for both proposed ideas are likely to be declared by September end.
Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal stated that they don’t want to conduct examinations until all students and teachers taking part in exams were vaccinated.
“If the Centre and state governments work together, it would take 3 to 4 weeks to fully vaccinate teachers and students of class 12. Following vaccination, the ministry can arrange for examination as per option B,” said Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM and Education minister of Delhi.
However, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Punjab government have flagged the vaccine shortage issue earlier. The vaccination process is relatively slow, according to the students, and they fret appearing for examinations. On Twitter, many class 12 students have started tweeting and tagging concerned ministers to cancel examinations.
Defending the decision by the Delhi government, Punjab school education minister Vijay Inder Singla said, “All students appearing in Class 12 board exams and teachers, both government and private, should be vaccinated before the board exams are started.”
The West Bengal government said that it recommends the cancellation of board examinations. An official of the state education department stated that in the wake of the COVID crisis, the Bengal government suggested putting off the exams of the state board examinations.
There is a perspective from various state governments that the exams conducted should be shorter in July before heavy monsoon and floods start in different parts of the northern and eastern states.
Bihar government said the issue of floods concerns the state, particularly in northern parts of the state, in July end and August. Bihar education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary requested the Centre to not conduct examinations during the monsoon season when the states receive heavy flooding. He said, “The Centre should consider online options.” Moreover, the Bihar Board conducted the examinations in February, and results were out in March.
The Uttarakhand government mentioned that they would not hold the examinations until mid-July or August. During which the state witnesses heavy monsoon rainfall. Uttarakhand school education secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram said, “If exams cannot be held in June end or July first week, then it should be postponed till September as during peaking monsoon season examinations in a hill state like ours won’t be suitable.”
As per the education ministry officials, the schedule was decided to begin a shorter, new academic year starting from November and lower stress on students and their parents.