What Budget 2021 tells us about reforms in CBSE Board exams

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For the education sector, the Union Budget 2021 lays emphasis on the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, including the allocation of Rs 500 crore to the National Research Foundation and the setting up of over 15,000 model schools where NEP will be implemented first. The Budget also talks about the upcoming board exams.

While addressing the media after the presentation of the Budget on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We will introduce reforms in CBSE Board Exam in a phased manner, which will be effective from the 2022-23 academic session. Exams will move away from rote-learning and students shall be tested on their conceptual clarity, analytical skills, and application of knowledge to real-life situations.”

Among reforms for CBSE exams are changing the way questions are asked in the exam. Last year, the board has introduced multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in the board exams. The number of MCQs will be increased by 10 percent every year, the ministry had informed earlier.

Not just the questions but also the evaluation aspect of the board exams will be changed. This, however, will be changed in a phased manner. “Students have so far been evaluated on uni-dimensional parameters. There will be a complete shift from using assessments to not only judge the cognitive levels of the learner but also using it as an opportunity to identify the unique strengths and the potential of the child. To this effect, a holistic progress card is envisaged to provide students with valuable information on their strengths, areas of interest, needed areas of focus and thereby helping them in making optimal career choices,” the FM said.

The board exams this year have been delayed and are scheduled be held in May. The syllabus has been reduced by 30 per cent because of the loss of instructional hours due to the pandemic. The result will be announced by July 15, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had informed earlier.