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Government undecided on plan for conducting class 3, 5, 8 exams under new education policy


NEW DELHI: The first major impact of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is likely to be felt in the academic session 2022-23 when the Centre plans to roll out ‘easier’ board exams, 5+3+3+4 school format and a reformed 360-degree school report card.

However, the plan for exams in classes 3, 5 and 8 has still not been finalised. It is not yet decided if the school or an external authority will conduct these examinations.

Officials from CBSE said the issue is being closely examined but it is highly unlikely that the board will conduct these examinations.

“It is clear that CBSE as a board cannot conduct exams for classes 3, 5 and 8. It will, in all probability, be conducted by the school with some framework from state’s education department and may be some guidelines from the Centre. However, we will be deliberating over this subject and have more clarity on it over the next few days,” a top CBSE official told ET.

Secretary general of the Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE), M K Sharma, said various school boards will await finer details from the Centre before taking a call.

The new policy advocates the need to track progress throughout the school years and not just at the end of grades 10 and 12.

These examinations aim to test the achievement of basic learning outcomes, through assessment of core concepts and knowledge from the national and local curricula, along with relevant higher order skills and application of knowledge in real-life situations, rather than rote memorisation.

“The Grade 3 examination, in particular, would test basic literacy, numeracy, and other foundational skills. The results of will be used only for developmental purposes of the school education,” stated the NPE 2020.Officials told ET that the idea is to mainly ensure that minimum and basic learning levels are attained, especially in primary schooling years.

Meanwhile, considerable ground work has already been done by the CBSE and NCERT on the ‘easier’ board exam format.

The proposal to bring in a format like the SAT National Aptitude Test for senior classes is also expected to see an earlier rollout with a pilot planned later this year.

By November-December, the National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched to ensure that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3 by 2025. The plan to serve breakfast at schools is expected to be moved for cabinet approval in the next few weeks. The HRD ministry will next month also initiate work on the new National Curriculum Framework- a near year-long exercise at NCERT.

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