The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will restore the pre-pandemic single-exam format from the next academic year, which means the Class X and XII board exams are not likely to be split into two parts, according to sources in the Ministry of Education.
For the 2021-22 academic year, the CBSE had divided the session into two terms: the Term-I board exams were held in November-December last year, while the Term-II exams are scheduled to start on April 26. It is learnt that more weightage will be given to the Term-II examinations.
The decision follows the forced cancellation of the board exams of 2020-21 due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students were evaluated on their scores in previous exams, practical exams and internal assessments.
According to a senior official, the board decided to restore the single-exam pattern based on complaints from schools about the faulty procedure of evaluation. “CBSE never announced that the two-term exam format will be continued henceforth. It was a one-time formula. Now that schools are functioning in full capacity, the decision, for now, is to stick to the one-time exam format,” the official said.
However, as far as syllabus rationalisation is concerned, the CBSE will retain the policy it followed for the last two years when syllabus was reduced by 30%. “The NCERT will send us the details of rationalisation based on which an announcement will be made. Schools can teach the reduced syllabus using the existing books,” said the official.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 proposes that all students be allowed to take the board exams on up to two occasions in an academic year — “one main examination and one for improvement” to “eliminate the high stakes aspect of board exams”.
“While the board exams for Grades X and XII will be continued, the existing system of board and entrance examinations shall be reformed to eliminate the need for undertaking coaching classes. To reverse these harmful effects of the current assessment system, board exams will be redesigned to encourage holistic development,” states the NEP.
There are 26,152 CBSE-accredited schools in India.