Updated: May 24, 2021 8:08:29 pm
The Delhi government is not in favour of board examinations being conducted in any form, Education Minister Manish Sisodia said following a meeting on exams chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday. Sisodia also said that 1.5 crore class 12 students across the country must be vaccinated on priority basis before they appear for any competitive exam.
The CBSE had proposed two options to the Education Ministry for evaluation of Class 12 students — conducting exams in the existing format only for around 20 major subjects or conducting one-and-half hour objective type exams of major subjects for students in their own schools.
The proposals were discussed in the meeting of state Education Ministers and state Education Secretaries on Sunday. After the meeting, Sisodia said his submission was that both options put students in danger and that Class 12 students should be evaluated in the manner that has been applied to Class 10 students.
Sisodia had on Saturday held consultations with government and private school teachers and principals, and had also taken to social media to seek suggestions from students, teachers and parents. He said that the overwhelming response had been to cancel the Board examinations.
“It is the opinion of the Delhi government that the interest in conducting exams should not be pursued by jeopardising the health and security of children… The practice and understanding of education we have dictates that we first have to teach children, then conduct exams, and then pass or fail them. But that’s all in an ideal scenario. In the real world, 2.5 lakh people in India are being infected by the coronavirus every day and it is being said that the third wave could affect children more… we can’t sacrifice our children for traditions of the education set-up,” he said in a press conference following the meeting.
He stated that he has submitted and also will be writing to the Central government that students be evaluated along the lines of Class 10 on the basis of assessments during the course of the year, also suggesting the use of a “historical reference” of individual students’ performance over the past three years. He said his submission included allowing students who wish to improve their result to appear for examinations once the situation permits.
For the conduct of various entrance examinations, including NEET and JEE, Sisodia said “the only one solution is to vaccinate our children” — that the approximately 1.5 crore students in Class 12 be inoculated on priority basis either by arranging for Pfizer’s vaccine, approved by US health regulators for use on children aged 12-15, or by consulting health experts on whether the vaccines currently being administered for those who are 18 years and above can be used for them.
“If we look at Delhi, 20-25% students in Class 12 are now 18 and around 70% students are between 17-and-half and 18. We should talk to health experts about whether we can get these children vaccinated with the vaccines developed in India. If this is possible, then stop all other vaccination programmes and give vaccines to them on priority… I have requested that exams only be conducted once children are given the security of vaccines,” he said.
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