New Delhi: The delay in the 2020 academic session due to the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be spilling over to 2021 as two states — Maharashtra and Gujarat — have already announced the decision to delay the state board exams.
Both the states said it would be impossible to conduct exams for Class 10 and 12 before May 2021, which is two months later than the March schedule every year.
The two central boards — Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) — are, however, yet to take a call on the schedule and said “it’s too early to decide”, ThePrint has learnt.
Usually, most of the boards start their Class 10 and 12 exams between March and April every year. This year, however, boards are reassessing the schedule as many states have still not re-opened schools and students lost academic time due to lockdown, making it difficult to finish the syllabus on time.
Officials in both the boards told ThePrint they are assessing the situation and waiting for instructions from the Ministry of Education to take a call on the matter. The boards had earlier hinted at the possibility of a delay.
Secretary, CBSE, Anurag Tripathi told ThePrint, “It’s too early to take a call right now, we are assessing the situation and looking at all options as of now.”
Sources in the CBSE said the board is looking at all options because it will have to take a final call in consultation with other boards like the CISCE and state boards.
“We will have to keep in mind many things like the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) schedule, the schedule of other boards and then only we will be able to take a final call,” said a CBSE source.
We are in a wait-and-watch mode, says CISCE
Meanwhile, CISCE officials said they are awaiting instructions from the central government.
“We are awaiting instructions from the Ministry of Education in deciding the exam schedule. As of now, we are in a wait-and-watch mode and assessing the situation,” Chief Executive and Secretary, CISCE, Gerry Arathoon, told ThePrint.
Board officials, however, said the schools are on track to complete the syllabus by December, which is usually the time by when schools finish syllabus for exams to start in March.
Both the CBSE and CISCE had reduced the syllabus to help students as they lost a considerable amount of academic time due to the lockdown.
ThePrint reached School Education Secretary Anita Karwal through phone calls and text messages to find out the ministry’s position on the board exam schedule, but there was no response till the publication of this report.
This report has been updated to reflect the correct designation of Gerry Arathoon.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.