Major subjects exam, internal assessment among likely options for Class 12 exams

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Conducting exams for only major subjects, planning them in two phases keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation in respective states or devising an internal assessment scheme — these are among the suggestions likely to be discussed at a high-level meeting on Sunday to decide the fate of pending class 12 board examination.

The Ministry of Education has invited suggestions from various stakeholders that will be taken up at the meeting scheduled to be chaired by Union Minister Rajnath Singh.

According to CBSE sources, the possible options that can be explored are –conducting pen and paper mode exams for only major subjects, conducting all exams in two phases planned as per the COVID-19 situation in different states or districts, or cancelling the exams and announcing results as per an alternative assessment scheme.

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A senior board official, however, said, “nothing has been finalised yet. A final call will only be taken by the Education Ministry after considering suggestions from all stakeholders”.

Other senior Union ministers and state education ministers are expected to attend the meeting.

While a large section of students and parents have been demanding that the exams be cancelled, school principals have varied views on the possible options that can be explored.

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“Under present circumstances, I visualize JEE type of online exams, through the involvement of the NTA. It would require setting up of the centres as per different locations, involving schools as self-centres or perhaps both. It would be a humongous exercise but can be at least considered for all major subjects opted for by a large number of students.

“For subjects with very few enrolments, the OTP linked delivery of paper to be printed and conducted at home Centres, is also a possibility,” said Sangeeta Hajela, Principal, DPS Indirapuram.

Rajat Goel, Director, MGR School Rohini, said, the assessment exam can be conducted online by the CBSE or the school may be allowed to plan an internal exam.

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“It can contain MCQs with some objective type questions. The exam can be conducted for every subject wherein the question paper is framed in such a way that student has to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in attempting those questions,” he said.

“There can be another part of aptitude test that can be made an intrinsic part of question papers as it will help them in passing the entrance exams of various universities or colleges,” he added.

However, Pallavi Upadhyaya, Principal, DPS-RNE Ghaziabad, said the digital divide has to be kept in mind before deciding on an alternative mode of assessment.

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“Board exams for class 12 are not an independently managed examination. It involves several factors which need due time and consideration before being subjected to any change.

“Hence, devising an alternative mode of assessment will be a challenging task if it is in an online mode, as the digital divide in India is a reality. CBSE has to revamp the entire infrastructure, and come up with a plan that suits all from rural, semi-urban to urban schools,” she said.

The CBSE had on April 14 announced the cancellation of Class 10 exams and postponed Class 12 exams in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The exams, which are usually conducted in February-March every year, were scheduled to be held from May 4.

The CBSE had announced that a decision on the Class 12 board exams will be taken on or after June 1.

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