CBSE Class 12 Exam: Most states in favour of shorter format of assessment suggested by CBSE

Several states such as Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Meghalaya have urged the Central Government to vaccinate teachers and students on priority to ensure their safety during their time at the test centres.

Most of the states have supported the CBSE’s proposal to conduct the Class 12 Board examination for only 19 major subjects in a shortened version in July-August, The Indian Express has learned.

However, several states such as Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Meghalaya have urged the Central Government to vaccinate teachers and students on priority to ensure their safety during their time at the test centre.

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Except for a few states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, the others favoured going ahead with the examinations, said an officer who attended Sunday’s meeting of state Education Ministers and Education Secretaries that was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“The priority of the Government is to conduct all the examinations in a safe and secure environment,” Singh said after the meeting. All states have been asked to submit their feedback in writing by May 25.

This virtually rules out an announcement, at the moment, on scrapping this year’s CBSE Class 12 examination. The Class 10 Board examination has already been cancelled due to the second wave of the pandemic.

According to sources, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Assam and Tamil Nadu were among the states that supported holding the Board examinations in the shortened format. Punjab emphasised on conducting the exams in person, even if it is for a few subjects. Karnataka and Puducherry agreed to go along with whatever the Central Government decides.

In the proposed curtailed format, the examination will only be held for 19 major subjects out of the 174 offered by CBSE to Class 12 students and, in all likelihood, be scheduled in two phases — from July 15-30 and August 1-14.

Each examination would be of one-and-a-half hours instead of three hours and the question papers would have only objective and short-answer questions.

A CBSE student takes a minimum of five and a maximum of six subjects of which four are usually the major subjects, which include Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, History, Political Science, Business Studies, Accountancy, Geography, Economics and English.

As first reported by The Indian Express Saturday, the Central Government had called a meeting of all state governments to seek their feedback on two options proposed by the CBSE for conducting the examinations.

Under the first option, the national board has suggested that examinations for 19 major subjects be held in the “existing format” and at designated examination centres — and marks for minor subjects be calculated on performance in the major subjects.

This option would require one month of pre-exam activities and two months for conducting the exams and declaration of results and another 45 days for compartment exams. The first option can only be executed if the Board has a window of three months and is proposed to be held in August-September with results in October.

Under the second format, which will take only 45 days to wind up, the CBSE has proposed that Class 12 students sit for the major subject exams in their own schools (read self-centres), instead of designated centres. Apart from the shortened duration of the examination, a Class 12 student will appear for one language and three elective (read major) subjects only.

The marks for the fifth and sixth subjects will be decided based on the performance in the elective subjects. Any student who is not able to sit for an examination due to Covid will get another opportunity to appear for it.

Apart from Delhi and Maharashtra, which urged the Centre to explore a non-examination route to assess Class 12 students, Haryana and Andaman and Nicobar are understood to have expressed difficulty in holding Board examinations before vaccination of all teachers and students.

West Bengal, Odisha and Rajasthan had sought more time to get back with their final view on the subject.

Sunday’s meeting was also attended by Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar and Women and Child Minister Smriti Irani.

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