Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 12th board exams would go ahead, but added that student safety would be a priority.
In a statement published in The Indian Express, the union minister said the people should take this as a challenge “to our national will, cooperation, consensus and good governance”.
“Testing students in the current state of COVID is a huge challenge that needs to be explained. This is especially true, when it comes to Class XII board exams, which play an important role in each student’s graph and roadmap for life, ”said Pokhriyal.
The Minister of Education said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set up a committee headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and included Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani and Pokhriyal himself.
Pokhriyal wrote in his column that “almost everyone” present at the pan-India committee meeting agreed that having “limited tests” would be the best course to follow. Ministers of public education, secretaries and chairpersons of public education boards were also present at the meeting, he said.
“Conducting the examination for students in their respective schools will ease the administrative challenges. We had faced similar challenges in 2020, too, and we not only successfully carried out the board examinations, but also conducted competitive examinations like JEE and NEET, wherein more than 21 lakh students participated,” he added.
Here are some of the other points raised by the education minister in his column:
> Pokhriyal said that a timely decision must be taken to prevent uncertainties among students, teachers and parents.
> Undertaking the limited examination with adequate safety measures will give students a sense of pride in their abilities and boost their confidence as opposed to getting a general “pass” degree, as offered during the pandemic, he said.> Pokhriyal reiterated that the government was committed to ensuring that examinations are conducted in a hassle-free and safe way, with students getting adequate flexibility, options and time for undertaking it.