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Govt wants panel to study, mitigate impact of delayed board exams on college schedules in 2021

Covid pandemic has thrown the academic calendar off schedule since March 2020, and its impact is likely to continue for a second successive year.

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New Delhi: With the delay in this year’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board exams for Class 12 likely to spill over to the higher education schedule, the government has decided to constitute a committee to study its ripple effects, ThePrint has learnt.

The committee, sources in the Union Ministry of Education said, will take stock of the schedule for exams conducted by state boards and then take a call on the 2021-22 academic calendar for colleges.

“There will be a need for taking stock of other boards as well. Some may be scheduling their exams after the CBSE dates also,” a senior ministry official told ThePrint. “Taking all these things into account, a committee may decide on the academic calendar for higher education.”

CBSE board exams for classes 10 and 12 of the 2020-2021 batch will begin in May and results will be announced by July. Typically, the exams begin by February and end by March or April, and the results are declared by May. However, the Covid pandemic has thrown the academic calendar off schedule since March 2020, and its impact now looks likely to continue for a second successive year. 

According to the official, widespread consultations will be held, including with teachers, parents and students, before a decision is taken. 

ThePrint reached the Union Ministry of Education’s spokesperson for a comment by email but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.

Also read: Pandemic pods are the answer for schools during Covid. But they’re not perfect

Academic calendar thrown haywire

Since last year, much deliberation has been carried out in the government to mitigate the impact of the Covid lockdown and the continuing distancing regulations on students’ academics, while also securing their health. 

In April 2020, a committee was constituted by higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) to look into the schedule for colleges and universities, especially for batches set to begin their college studies in 2020. 

The committee had initially suggested that the academic session for new batches begin by August-September, but, looking at the increasing number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the country in that period, the date was later shifted to November

The new committee is also likely to decide a schedule for starting the 2021-22 academic session for colleges and universities, keeping last year’s schedule in mind.

Also read: Covid shut schools, but teachers making sure learning is not stopped


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