Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has stated that mandating the appearance for Class 10 and 12 board examinations twice a year will not be obligatory. This approach is being introduced as an alternative to alleviate the stress experienced by students who are apprehensive about having only one opportunity.
In an interview with PTI, Pradhan emphasized the significance of addressing the issue of “dummy schools.” He asserted that the time has come for a thorough discussion on this matter.
As outlined in the New Curriculum Framework (NCF) released by the Ministry of Education in August, board examinations will occur at least twice annually to ensure students have ample time and chances to perform well. They will also have the option to retain their highest score. When asked about how this measure aligns with the goal of making board exams “low stakes” as proposed in the new National Education Policy (NEP), Pradhan explained, “Students will have the choice to take the exams twice a year, much like the engineering entrance exam JEE. They can select the highest score…but it will be entirely voluntary, with no obligation.”
He further added, “Students often experience stress, worrying that they missed their chance or could have performed better…the anxiety stemming from the fear of a single opportunity will be lessened.” Pradhan highlighted that if a student feels adequately prepared and content with their score in one set of exams, they may choose not to participate in the subsequent exams. He emphasized that nothing will be made compulsory.
Pradhan, who also serves as the Union Skill Development Minister, reported receiving positive feedback from students regarding the plan to conduct board exams twice a year.
“After the NCF was announced, I met with students. They have welcomed this initiative and are pleased with the concept. We are striving to implement biannual exams starting from 2024 itself,” he revealed.
However, it’s important to note that this is not the first endeavor to reform board exams. The Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was introduced for Class 10 in 2009, only to be revoked in 2017, reverting back to the traditional year-end exam model.
Additionally, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the board exams for Classes 10 and 12 were temporarily divided into two terms as a one-time measure. However, the previous format of year-end exams was reinstated this year.