New Delhi: The Centre has decided to shorten the exam time duration for the Class XII students of the Central Board of Secondary Education. Unlike the usual three-hour-long papers, a shorter 90-minute question paper with multiple choice and short answer questions will be used, reports The Hindu, quoting a senior official in Education Ministry
The government has also decided to conduct exam twice to avoid the exclusion of students and areas affected by COVID-19. According to the report, students will be allowed to write the exams in their own schools. Under the plan, which was also presented by the CBSE at a meeting with State Education Ministers last week, exams will only be conducted in 19 major subjects.
A majority of State governments favoured shortening the time-span of the exam, a few preferred the regular three-hour exam. Delhi and Maharashtra both expressed the opinion that exams should not be held until students and teachers are vaccinated and instead suggested that grading be done using scores from past examinations and tests.
A large section of students and parents has also demanded that the exams be cancelled in view of health concerns, with some of them moving court. However, the final decision is likely to be announced on Tuesday (June 1) bringing clarity for 14 lakh students registered to write the exams this year, says the report.
The exams, originally scheduled to be held in May, were postponed due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Education Ministry saying it will review the situation on June 1. On May 31, the Centre told the Supreme Court it will announce a decision by June 3.
Last year, the board exams were interrupted by COVID, resulting in the cancellation of some papers. The CBSE had used an alternative assessment method to assign grades in those subjects by using scores from the completed papers. The Centre has indicated that this may not be an option this time around, since students have not written any exams this year.
However, the top court on Monday said that if the Centre was departing from last year's policy, it must give a "good reason" for doing so.
During last week's meeting with State ministers, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had emphasised "the importance of the Class XII board exams and the All India Entrance exams in shaping the future and defining the careers of students".