The upcoming board and competitive examinations were the talking points of the virtual interaction among Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, teachers, parents and students on December 10,2020.
On the reopening of educational institutions, Mr Pokhriyal said he was in touch with the chief ministers of all states. He said that while education was essential, the safety of students was the highest priority. He lauded the efforts of the authorities to educate 30 crore students during the pandemic.
Mr Pokhriyal underlined the importance of mental wellbeing and lauded the efforts of Manodarpan, the education ministry’s initiative with over 300 mental health professionals that have been providing psychological support to students during the pandemic.
The syllabus for the upcoming board examinations truncated to reduce the workload of students. Wherever that has not been possible, the question paper shall frame in such a manner that even if the students are unable to cover 20 per cent of the syllabus, they would have a fair chance of being able to answer all the questions.
Addressing concerns over conducting practical exams in the absence of lab classes, Mr Pokhriyal said if students did not receive adequate practical learning, they might reconsider the matter. Schools should ensure that the dates of their practical exams do not clash with JEE.
The minister stressed that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 not to be cancelled.
The minister responded to requests of increasing the number of JEE attempts from two, stating that the authorities were considering such a provision. He also encouraged students to give their suggestions and preferences regarding the mode of conducting the exams. He assured them that the recommendations and inputs would be taken into account.
Mr Pokhriyal reinforced the Prime Minister’s desire for students to inculcate the habit of reading. “There is no greater pleasure than reading and no stronger power than knowledge. If you read, you will lead the country,” he said. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 found tremendous favor, with the minister terming it as a sea of options and opportunities for students. “The NEP will help students to reform, transform and perform. This policy is both nationally and internationally relevant, and interactive, inclusive and innovative,” he said. While responding to students’ concerns over the reduced syllabus for CBSE Board exams, the Union Education Minister asked the students to check CBSE.nic.in and cbseacademic.nic.in. On the other hand, in regards to the reduction of the syllabus for JEE and NEET exams, he said that the discussions and planning are still underway. During the live session, Mr Pokriyal informed that although final dates for JEE and NEET are yet not announced, however, the Education Ministry is trying to share the dates in advance with the students.
The minister urged Teachers, parents and students to follow all COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing while attending school.
You can watch the complete session here.