CBSE sources, however, said conducting exams in the present scenario doesn’t seem feasible while ‘#cancelboardexams’ became the top trend on Twitter soon after Sunday’s meeting was announced.
Announcing the meeting, education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said: “The PM has desired that any decision affecting the career of students has to be taken in wide consultations with all state governments & stakeholders.” He said Sunday’s meeting will be chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh and also attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani.
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“All the state education ministers and secretaries have been requested to attend this meeting and share their views with regard to the upcoming examinations. This virtual meeting will take place at 11.30 AM,” he said.
A CBSE source said, “The Board has been holding discussions on Class XII exams which were postponed in April due to the pandemic. However, since the situation is still far from normal, the Board is mulling various options which include conducting the exam for the major subjects as well as cancellation. However, no decisions have been reached yet as the definition of major subject is a tricky one. For example, for a student with one vocational subject in the five compulsory ones, that would be a major subject.”
A senior CBSE official said a final call would be taken in the first week of June after reviewing the situation and based on inputs from the ministry of education.
“Another option is to conduct the exams for the major subjects in a shorter format of 90 minutes with short answers and the centres would be the home schools of candidates,” said the official. He said in either situation, the Board would need two to three months to complete the process.
As soon as the announcement of the high-level meeting was done, students took to twitter tagging the PM, CBSE, Pokhriyal and others with over 3.5 lakh tweets recorded till 8pm on Saturday.
A student, Pawan Kumar, tweeted tagging Pokhriyal and the CBSE to say,“If you are not having trust in your safety policy to conduct meeting offline then please do not even think about offline exams. No offline meeting=no online exams.”
Shalini Chaudhary tweeted, “Sir it will be very difficult for those children whose parents or family members are suffering from Covid. Everyone is saying that you all got so much time to study but the family problems are also responsible. those students who lost their parents how they will manage.” Soumyodeep Dolui said, “Dear CBSE, last year I lost my father due to Covid, this year I suffered and I was extremely depressed during that period … in extreme fear as I don’t have money for hospitalisation. I don’t want to lose anyone else or myself.”