Class 12 boards: Majority of states favour shorter duration exams, a few insist on vaccinating students
The Ministry of Education had asked the states and union territories to submit detailed suggestions till Tuesday on the two proposals discussed in a high-level meeting on Sunday
A majority of states have chosen the option of conducting shorter duration class 12 board exams in home schools for major subjects while a few have stressed on the need to vaccinate students and teachers before going ahead with the exercise, according to sources.
The Ministry of Education had asked the states and union territories to submit detailed suggestions till Tuesday on the two proposals discussed in a high-level meeting on Sunday.
The CBSE has proposed conducting the exams between July 15-August 26 and the result to be declared in September. The board also proposed two options: conducting regular exams for 19 major subjects at notified centres or conducting shorter duration exams at respective schools where students are enrolled.
Meanwhile, as the hashtag "cancelboardexams" continued to trend on Twitter, over 300 students wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana to quash the proposal regarding physical conduct of examination and provide for alternative assessment scheme similar to last year.
"We have received the suggestions and feedbacks from more states. There was broad consensus among the states that exams should be conducted. As stated by the minister earlier, an informed and collaborative decision will be announced by June 1," a senior MoE official said.
The Delhi government has reiterated its stand of "vaccination or cancellation" maintaining that if the exams are conducted after vaccinating students, the state is in favour of the option B, which includes conducting short duration exams in home schools of students.
Maharshtra's Education Minister had said post the Sunday meeting that the state is still in favour of the "non examination route".
The Punjab government has also chosen the second option; however, it reiterated that the students need to be vaccinated before exams.
Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Karntaka are among the states which have also advocated the second option.
Kerala had also raised the vaccination issue in the MoE meeting.
A large section of students and parents have been demanding the cancellation of exams.
"In view of the unprecedented health crisis, it will be a disastrous decision in case students are made to appear physically in the examination. The students are ready to be evaluated in any other mode including online exams or alternative evaluation. The Supreme Court may take suo motu cognisance and quash the decision to hold physical examination in middle of a raging crisis," the letter sent by students to the Chief Justice read.
The first option proposed by CBSE includes conducting exams at designated centres for 19 major subjects. Under this option, for minor subjects assessment can be based on performance in major subjects.
"This can be done if three months of time period is clearly and safely available to the board. August could be a likely month for holding the exams and the whole process is likely to go on till September end," a CBSE official said.
Elaborating on the second option, the official said, "the exams can be conducted twice by the board depending upon the conducive situation. If a student is not able to appear due to any COVID related matter, he or she will be provided another opportunity to sit for exams."
"The exams will be of 90 minutes duration instead of three hours and will be conducted in same schools where students are enrolled. The questions will be objective and very short answer type. Students will have to appear in one language and three elective subjects," the official added.
The tentative timeline for this option is the first phase of exams from July 15 to August 1 and the second phase from August 8-26. Exams are proposed to be conducted on Sundays also under this option.
The exams were scheduled to be conducted in May-June and were postponed in view of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The CBSE has already cancelled class 10 board exams and announced an alternative marking policy.