The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - the two national boards for education, as per reports, are mulling reducing syllabus of Classes 10 and 12 board examinations 2021 to 50 per cent, and may extend the academic year by further two months - to April-May.
Speaking to TOI about the likely decision, a Senior CBSE official said, "Post 30% reduction in July, there has been no normal classes and if the situation continues like this, there is likelihood of further reduction of the syllabus for the Board exams. The Board will take a call soon whether the exams are to be conducted based on 70% or 50% of the syllabus."
"The standards for online classes vary from school to school or from urban to semi-urban and rural areas and therefore we are expecting some physical classes to happen before the exams. We will have to wait for it to happen and review the situation. Therefore, in all likelihood the Board exams may have to be shifted to April or beyond to accommodate classroom teaching and completion of the syllabus. Schools are also asking us to defer the dates as well as reduce the syllabus by 50%," he further added.
It may be noted that, the CBSE, CISCE and other State Boards in July had already reduced the syllabus by 25 to 30 per cent. Due to COVID-scenario and subsequent lockdown, most schools have remained physically shut and are operational through online mode.
Despite the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allowing for reopening of schools and colleges in a phased manner under its Unlock 5.0 guidelines from October 15 onwards, several States and educational institutions have decided against it raising concerns among the national boards.
Sharing the CBSE official's concerns, Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive CISCE, speaking to TOI said, "Given the present scenario, there is a possibility of further reduction of the syllabus. Though, one cannot say right now to what extent it could be slashed for the 2021 exams."
The decision, however, with regards to reducing the syllabus and extending the academic year would be taken by CBSE and CISCE only after assessing the situation on ground and securing Centre's nod.