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Most States OK Class XII board exams after shots

Saturday, 29 May 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

A majority of the States and UTs — barring Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa, and Andaman & Nicobar — have supported the CBSE’s proposal to go ahead with the Class 12 Board examinations. They have reportedly opposed the offline mode examinations but suggested that the students and teachers should be vaccinated before the conduct of the examinations.

Education Ministry sources said of the total 36 States and UTs, 32 have agreed to hold the board examinations either as per the Centre-issued guidelines or the common understanding between the Centre, State and CBSE.

The same is likely to be adopted with regard to another national board, ICSE.

Several States like Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Meghalaya have urged the Centre to vaccinate teachers and students on priority to ensure their safety during their time at the test centres.

The Education Ministry after a meeting on Sunday chaired by Union Minister Rajnath Singh had asked all the States and Union Territories to send their suggestions on Class 12 Board examinations by May 25. The meeting was also attended by  Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, along with two of his predecessor Smriti Irani and Prakash Javadekar besides the Chief Ministers and State Education Ministers and Education Secretaries.

The CBSE has proposed two options to the Education Ministry for evaluation of Class 12 students — first, conducting exams in the existing format only for around 20 major subjects, and second conducting a one-and-half-hour objective type exam of major subjects for students in their own schools.

Sources in the Education Ministry said Rajasthan, Tripura and Telangana have backed the first option of the existing format. Under option A, exams for the 19 major subjects will be held in the “existing format” at designated examination centres, while marks for minor subjects are to be calculated based on performance in major subjects.

The three States that opted for this format are learned to have justified their choice on the ground that students may not be comfortable with last-minute changes in the examination format.

On the other hand, of the 32 that has agreed to the exams, 29 States and UTs have either indicated a preference for CBSE’s option B or agreed to support the Centre’s decision on the matter.

Under option B, exams for major subjects will be conducted in the students’ own schools, instead of at designated centers and each exam will be for a shorter duration of 90 minutes.

States such as Punjab, Delhi, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Daman and Diu have suggested that the examination should be held only after all students and teachers are vaccinated. While Kerala and Assam have also mentioned vaccination in their feedback, their support for holding Board examination doesn’t hinge on it.

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