Board examinations will be conducted in written mode and not online, the Central Board of Secondary Education said on Wednesday. Given that practical examinations may not be possible for many students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alternatives are being considered for the 2020-21 examination cycle. “No final decision has been taken regarding the dates for conduct of board exams, and consultations with stakeholders are still in process,” said the statement from a CBSE spokesperson. “The exams, as and when they are conducted, will be in written mode and not in online mode. The exams will be conducted following all COVID-19 protocols. ”The statement added that “in case students are not able to do practicals in classes before the exams, alternatives to practical exams will have to be explored”.
Schools across the country shut down in March due to the pandemic. The board exams for 2019-2020 were partially completed when the lockdown happened. Unable to go to school during this academic year, students have been forced to rely on distance education instead, ranging from Zoom classes and television lectures to WhatsApp lessons and self-study. The syllabus for the Class 10 and 12 board examinations was reduced by 30% to ease the burden on students. Although the Centre gave permission for schools to re-open from mid-October while following safety measures, few States have taken the decision to allow students to return to physical classes. Although some parents and students have demanded online examinations due to fears of infection, the CBSE has decided that online mode would not be possible for all students, and the examination will be held in physical examination halls instead.