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CBSE will consult doctors to plan smooth conduct of exams, adds 2,000 test centres

Representational image. Central Board of Secondary Education
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New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will consult doctors to make a plan for smooth conduct of board exams beginning 4 May, board officials have said.

Amid the surging second Covid-19 wave across the country, parents and students have demanded cancellation or postponement of the exams. Political parties have also joined the clamour.

Over the weekend, the Shiv Sena and Congress urged the Ministry of Education to postpone the exams, given the current situation. 

The CBSE, meanwhile, has maintained that it is taking all the precautions to ensure smooth conduct of exams. So far, there is no indication that the exam schedule can be changed.

“We have increased the number of exam centres from 5,000 to 7,000 this year to ensure enough distance between students. Proper Covid protocol will be adhered to, during the exams. Apart from this, we are also in touch with various government departments and sister concerns to ensure that everything happens smoothly,” a senior CBSE official told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.

“If you look at the time table, we have given enough time between two papers to students from different disciplines to ease out the burden on them and to ensure that the number of students in each exam centre is manageable,” the official added.

Also read: IB board opts for dual-mode assessment this year, written exams only wherever possible

What CBSE exam controller says

Controller examinations, Sanyam Bhardwaj also spoke on similar lines during a webinar Saturday.

Speaking at ‘SAI Thought Leadership’, a series of discussion sessions hosted by SAI International Education Group, Bhardwaj said, “I would request the parents to keep an eye on the status of coronavirus and the status of your child’s preparation. We will start taking the advice of the doctors into making a proper plan for conducting the examination smoothly.” 

He also urged teachers and invigilators who are eligible to get vaccinated, so that “they can do their duties properly of invigilating during exams”.

Sending a message to the parents, Bhardwaj said he understands that it is difficult for parents to send their children to the exam centre, but urged them to “continue” supporting the board. 

To students, he said they should focus on their studies and “not listen to any rumour and false pretence”. 

Practical exams on, syllabus burden reduced

Meanwhile, practical exams for CBSE are already underway with relaxations given to schools.

The board had issued a circular on 1 April saying that if a student is unable to appear in the practical exam because of testing positive, the school will conduct exams for such students at another time in consultation with regional authorities before 11 June.  

To reduce the burden on students and compensate for the learning loss, CBSE exams this year will be based on a reduced syllabus. The board had reduced the syllabus by 30 per cent in the beginning of the academic year 2020-21. The board has also uploaded sample question papers on its website.

The CBSE has also introduced competence-based questions from this year, which means a student does not need to cram up the syllabus but be more aware of the subject.

Additionally, the board is providing the option of an improvement exam this year. Students who wish to, will get a chance to improve their score.

Also read: Language mapping, bi-lingual approach — how govt plans to implement teaching in mother tongues


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