The Class 10 and Class 12 board exams for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) students who have opted for ‘vocational’ subjects are likely to start in February next year in order to reduce the final exam period for ‘core academic’ subjects from seven to four weeks, according to officials familiar with the development. Around 2.8 million students are registered to appear for CBSE Class 10 and Class 12 examinations in 2019.
The exams for the core academic subjects are likely to be held in March, the officials said, adding that CBSE is likely to inform the schools about the new schedule shortly.
A senior CBSE official said on condition of anonymity that while exams for vocational subjects will be held in school-based centres, the core subject exams will be held at external centres, as is the norm. In 2018, the exams were held in March and April. Amita Wattal, principal of Springdales School, said: “It will be really helpful for both students and teachers if the CBSE is planning to restructure the way board exams are being conducted. The idea of conducting exams for some papers in February is feasible because students, teachers and schools are in examination mode by then.”
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The HRD ministry had formed a panel headed by VS Oberoi, a former secretary of the ministry, and comprising seven others after the Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics papers were leaked in March, which triggered criticism of the way the board held exams. The ministry tasked the committee with reviewing all aspects related to security checks to ensure that question papers reached examinees without being tampered with. The panel was also asked to assess potential points of weakness in the system of transporting question papers from.
Some of the popular subjects that fall in the vocational category are travel and tourism, business operation and administration, design and innovation, financial accounting, and taxation. Core academic subjects include the languages, physics, chemistry, mathematics, social sciences, and economics, among others. The board offers approximately 168 courses for Class 12 students and 70 for Class 10.
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