Education Minister of India, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, tweeted on Monday, September 21, 2020 about the revamping of university exams. This reform shall be introduced under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 introduced in July. Dr. Pokhiyal said the National Testing Agency (NTA) shall introduce a high-quality aptitude test as well as exams in various specialised common subjects. Such exams shall be held twice a year to test the cognitive skills of university students. The draft of NEP was introduced with the motive to test students belonging to classes 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12 based on their aptitude.
The introduction of the new NEP in the country shall change board exam patterns and assessments in report cards. Ministry has also proposed the introduction of Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH). It is a standard-setting body that shall guide and test all recognised school education boards. Their primary motive is to test the cognitive skills and the application of knowledge of students in various grades including 3, 5 and 8. Tests included in the curriculum shall also judge the learning capabilities of all students.
Education Ministry has also introduced reforms in the process of conduction of university exams. NTA has proposed to collaborate with the ministry to offer universities “a high-quality common entrance test” to test the knowledge-base of university attendees. Furthermore, these tests can also be conducted for specialised common subject exams in Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Arts and Vocational Subjects at least twice every year. However, the ministry also stated that it is not mandatory for universities to conduct these NTA-devised exams.
NEP 2020 has also brought reforms in board exams conducted in classes 10 and 12. Board exams shall continue to take place. However, under the education policy, they shall be made easier. Class 10 and Class 12 board exams shall test core strengths and competency of students rather than their ability to memorise answers. Education ministry also mentioned that in due course, boards shall create viable models of exams including annual, semester and modular tests. These models shall include all subjects starting with mathematics through two exams- objective and subjective.
The education policy has also introduced changes in the progress cards given to students. Report-cards shall be multi-dimensional and include the progress made by the student in great detail in various aspects including cognitive, psychomotor and aptitude domains. They shall include three different assessments – self-assessment, peer-assessment and teacher-assessment. PARAKH shall be established as a national assessment centre to set norms and guidelines to assess students’ progress in various recognised boards. The new NEP 2020 further disclosed that teachers shall also undergo transformation in the assessment system by 2022-2023. NEP 2020 was introduced in July, 2020 to restructure the education system of India.