The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will announce the schedule for the upcoming class 10 and 12 board exams on next Tuesday, 2 February, said Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday.

He also said that CBSE will digitalise the 45-year records of the students. The new system, which will come into effect from March 1, has been restructured as per various recommendations for systemic reforms laid down in the new National Education Policy (NEP).

The education minister had already announced the dates for the class 10 and 12 board exams earlier. The exams are scheduled to take place physically from May 4 to June 10, 2021. Practical examinations will be conducted by schools from March 1. The results of the board exams will be announced by July 15, he added.

Usually, practical exams are conducted in January and written exams begin in February and conclude in March. However, the exams are being delayed this session in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be conducted from May 4 to June 10. Schools will be allowed to conduct practical exams from March 1. The result will be declared by July 15,” Pokhriyal announced.

Several schools have already conducted pre-board exams online to keep the students prepared. The CBSE had earlier this month announced that board exams in 2021 will be conducted in written mode and not online. Schools across the country were closed in March to contain the spread of COVID-19. They were partially reopened in some states from October 15.

However, a few states have decided to keep them closed in view of a spike in the number of infections. The board exams this year had to be postponed mid-way in March. They were later cancelled and the results announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme.

“Students, teachers and schools are facing an unprecedented and uncertain situation due to the COVID-19 epidemic but teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure that students do not face any difficulty in their studies,” Pokhriyal said.

The Union Minister had also said that on the basis of the consultations, the guidelines will be prepared which will further be decided by the Ministry of Home Affairs along with the Ministry of Health. “Ensuring safety of students is our first priority,” he said.

In the national capital, over 3 lakh students have registered for the Class 10 CBSE board exam, while over 2.5 lakh candidates have registered for the Class 12 exam. The Delhi government has suggested that schools conduct pre-board exams for Class 12 from March 20 to April 15 and Class 10 pre-board exams from April 1 to April 15.

The Ministry of Education had also announced that JEE-Mains for admission to engineering colleges will be held four times a year starting 2021 to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores. The first edition of the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains (JEE-Mains) will be held from February 23 to 26, followed by rounds in March, April and May.

The delay in board exams, however, may affect the conduct of all-India medical entrance exam National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) which is usually conducted in May. There is no official communication on it yet.


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