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Indian government holds discussions on Class 12 exams, Delhi voices opposition

New Delhi, May 23 (MNN) The Indian government on Sunday held a meeting with Education Ministers and officials of various states and Union Territories to discuss various proposals on the conduct of examinations for Class XII and entrance examinations for professional courses, with Delhi government opposing holding of exams.

It was later learnt that Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal will announce the dates and other details on the exams on June 1.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that one proposal was to hold the examinations in around 20 select subjects and evaluate the students on the basis of their performance.

“The second proposal was to hold examinations with a different pattern. These should be held in schools for 1 and half hours, there should be objective questions and the answersheets should be checked by school teachers only,” he said.

He said that Delhi government was opposed to holding of any exams by playing with the health of our children.

“On Saturday, I held discussions with principals of schools and other stakeholders. There are around 2.5 lakh coronavirus cases reported daily in India at present. The third wave of the pandemic is also looming and the children are at risk. So, we are opposed to the exams in the given situation.”

“We will write a letter to the Indian government too. The government should do something similar to what was done in the case of Class 10 children. The evaluation should be on the basis of historical reference. If a child objects to the marks given to him or her on the basis of his or her past performance, they should be asked to appear in the examinations at the appropriate time.”

He said that as for the entrance tests were concerned, these could be conducted after vaccinations.

He said that he appealed to the Indian government to get 1.5 crore Class 12 students and 1.5 crore teachers vaccinated first. “The Centre should talk to Pfizer or indigenous vaccine manufacturer to procure vaccines for children.

“As many as 20 to 25 per cent of such students have already turned 18 and 70 per cent others will become majors in the coming months. The central government should arrange for vaccines for them.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting, in which Union Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Smriti Zubin Irani and Prakash Javadekar participated, apart from Education Secretaries, state examination boards’ heads, and other stakeholders.

Pokhriyal had written to the states/UTs that the Department of School Education and Literacy, the Ministry of Education, and CBSE were exploring options to hold exams while keeping safety and security of students and teachers in mind.

The Department of Higher Education was also deliberating on the finalisation of exam dates for institutions of higher learning.

In view of the prevailing situation, almost all state education boards, CBSE and ICSE had postponed Class XII examinations in 2021.

Similarly, National Testing Agency and other institutions that hold various tests have also postponed their respective entrance exams for admissions to professional courses.

Pokhriyal has sought inputs from all stakeholders — students, parents, teachers, and others through Twitter.

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