New policy might introduce on-demand board exams, national test for college seat


In a bid to relieve students of undue stress, a human resource development ministry panel has apparently proposed a new exam system for the class X boards and a national-level common test for admissions to college after class XII, among other things.

The panel, which was formulated to draw up a new education policy, the report for which was submitted to the HRD ministry but is yet to be made public, also suggested an on-demand exam , the Times of India reported.

Noting that public board exams were "useful" but nevertheless seemed to be causing anxiety among students, the idea behind the on-demand exam is to offer flexibility, the news agency further stated. If implemented, students will be able to take the exam when they feel ready for it.

As for the new exam system, the proposal gives students two options – a lesser challenging and higher challenging exam. Depending on the subjects and course of study one would want to follow, the student can decide between the two. This way, a student looking to opt for a vocational or humanities course may take a simpler test in unrelated subjects such as sciences or mathematics.

The panel has also suggested a national common test after class XII irrespective of the examination board, along the lines of SAT in US, given the multiple entrance exams students sit through to get admissions to colleges.

This, the committee hoped, will further help reduce stress.

The Union ministry, which received the panel's report on May 27, will take a call on the recommendations.

If implemented, it will revive the Central Board of Secondary Education class X board exam which was replaced by a 'continuous comprehensive evaluation and summative assessment II'.

Calling for a "futuristic curriculum" in schools, the panel recommended cutting down on "curriculum load" and focusing more on "self learning". It however upheld the validity of the National Curriculum Framework 2005.

The panel also said the curriculum had to address "national needs" including "social cohesion, religious amity and national integration".

As far as languages were concerned, it still backed the three-language formula, but stressed learning Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

In line with the government's view, it noted that Sanskrit required "special emphasis".

A new education policy was one of the BJP's promises during its election campaigns leading up to the 2014 general assembly elections.

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