The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams for classes 10 and 12 will not be held till February end, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said during an interaction with teachers on Tuesday.
“I received a lot of requests from students and teachers to postpone CBSE board exams for Class 10 and 12. Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, we have decided that board exams will not be held in February,” Mr Pokhriyal tweeted.
He added that the board exams would be held later, but did not indicate when saying dates would be announced soon.
Unlike classes, the board exams would not be held online since “many schools are in rural areas”, the minister said, adding that exams would not be postponed either.
“The CBSE board exams will be conducted on a reduced syllabus. Thirty per cent of the total syllabus has been scrapped. While some states have declared as much, others are likely to make an announcement soon. There will also be 33 per cent internal choice in the exam,” the minister said in an online interaction with stakeholders.
“We cannot allow COVID-19 to impact students and have them labelled as COVID-era students who cleared the classes without any examination. We have organised JEE, NEET exams this year. It was one of the biggest examination conducted amid COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Pokhriyal said in response to a teacher’s query.
Despite widespread floods, partial Covid-induced lockdowns and soaring infections, lakhs of students wrote the engineering and medical college entrance exams – JEE and NEET – in September this year after the Supreme Court dismissed a bunch of petitions saying “life has to go on”.
On Tuesday, Mr Pokhriyal said, “Our government is in favour of students.”
Ramesh Pokhriyal lauded efforts by students and teachers for conducting online classes during the pandemic.
“Many countries have cancelled their academic year due to COVID-19, but the teachers of our nation continued to work hard and did not let the academic year get wasted,” he said calling teachers Corona Warriors – a term used to laud doctors and other frontline workers.
He also gave instances of teachers using unique methods as alternatives to online education.
“Many teachers are imparting education via loudspeaker by travelling long distances on motorcycles… We are using initiatives like One Class One Channel, DIKSHA, Pathshala…around 800 radio programmes are being aired, and classes are also being conducted via television,” Mr Pokhriyal said.
Tuesday’s webinar was meant to answer queries about whether the CBSE board exams would be conducted online or offline and addresses teachers’ concerns shared on Twitter.
The interaction was initially scheduled for December 17, but was postponed after overwhelming response by teachers amid the coronavirus pandemic because of which most schools across states have remained closed since March this year.