Amid the coronavirus pandemic, questions are looming large on the timing of class 10 and class 12 board exams to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 2021. There is a possibility that the exams may be held earlier than expected.
This may be done in order to conduct competitive examinations such as NEET, JEE etc, on time. But the CBSE is yet to make any official announcement in this regard.
The CBSE has already started the process to hold Class 10, 12 exams earlier than expected in 2021 and has completed the process of list of candidates, examination forms (LOC), sources have claimed. Several schools affiliated with the CBSE are also making efforts to follow their time table in order to complete the syllabus on time so that the students do not face trouble if examinations are held earlier than expected.
Some reports claimed that the CBSE is planning to either shorten the syllabus or delay the exams by 45 to 60 days as normal classes across the country were suspended for over 6 months due to coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown announced to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the CBSE has released the latest sample papers along with the marking scheme, which could be an indication that the exams could be held on time. It is to be noted that these sample papers are prepared as per the reduced syllabus of the CBSE. From the sample papers, those who will appear for the board examinations will know the format of questions that will be followed by the CBSE.
It may be recalled that the CBSE had postponed the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) due to coronavirus. The exam was earlier scheduled to be held on July 5, 2020, but it will now be held on January 31, 2021.
As per news agency PTI, several school principals in the national capital and adjoining areas are not in favour of postponement of the CBSE board exams next year in view of continuing closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school principals believe that the postponement of board exams will not be a right move as it will impact the schedule of higher education entrance exams and admission processes as well, which will be disturbing for students.
The Delhi government had last month written to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to not conduct the board exams next year before May and further reduce syllabus as schools still continue to remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also raised the issue at NCERT's council meeting last month chaired by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
In a letter to the CBSE, the Directorate of Education (DoE) had said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a major chunk of time of 2020-21 academic session (approximately seven months) could not be utilised for classroom teaching-learning process as schools in Delhi are closed till October 31.
Universities and schools across the country were ordered to shut down on March 16 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. On March 25, the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown. While several restrictions have been eased gradually in different phases of the 'unlock' since June 8, educational institutions continued to remain closed.
However, according to the latest 'Unlock 5' guidelines, schools, colleges and other educational institutions outside COVID-19 containment zones can reopen after October 15. The final decision on reopening the institutions has been left with the states and Union Territories. The Delhi government has decided to maintain the status quo on schools' closure till further orders.