Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister, S Suresh Kumar, announced that the state education board is likely to take a decision today, May 02, 2021, regarding the Class 12 board exams. Yesterday, June 01, 2021, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cancelled the Class 12 board exams. Instead, the board shall use well-defined, objective-criteria to evaluate students. Now, all eyes are on states including Karnataka to take a final call. Moreover, after the cancellation of CBSE Class 12 board exams, students are demanding the cancellation of Karnataka second-year pre-university (II PU) exams.
According to Suresh Kumar, an appropriate decision shall be taken in due course of time after reviewing the COVID19 situation in the state. Moreover, a consensus shall be reached keeping the interests and health of students in mind. The minister is expected to conduct a meeting with various health and education experts along with stakeholders before taking a call, as suggested by reports.
Previously, the Karnataka government was planning on conducting the II PU 2021 and SSLC exams at around the same time as CBSE Class 12 board exams 2021. According to reports, the board was also planning on deciding the paper pattern for exams once CBSE announced its decision. Along with this, state authorities were also venturing into the possibility of vaccinating all the II PU students before conducting the board exams.
Suresh Kumar had also previously commented that certain health experts have recommended to vaccinate students before conducting offline exams. A final call on this was to be taken after holding talks with K Sudhakar, the Health and Medical Education Minister. However, the vaccination strategy would pose another hurdle for the government.
As of now, India is implementing the third round of vaccination for those who are 18 years and above. However, many II PU students along with all SSLC students are below 18 years. Therefore, not all those students can be vaccinated before exams. At the same time, the COVID19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had advised the state government to create a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). These were to be followed during the conduction of board exams.
While all these strategies were being considered, CBSE decided to cancel the Class 12 board exams. This may entirely change the course of action that Karnataka planned on implementing. As per reports, most state and central boards are likely to follow the footsteps of CBSE. However, there are doubts about Karnataka doing the same as the state had been adamant on conducting board exams since the very beginning, rather than cancelling them.
Karnataka is one of the few states to postpone both Class 10 and 12 board exams for the academic year 2020-21. Most states had cancelled the Class 10 exams while postponing the Class 12 boards. However, CBSE’s decision to cancel Class 12 boards has forced Karnataka to reconsider its decision. Moreover, students are now demanding the cancellation the board exams, compelling the state board to follow CBSE’s footsteps. A decision on this matter is likely to come out soon, if not today.