No board exams for students of Classes 5, 8 this year in Haryana

The government of Haryana has postponed its plan to hold board exams for grades 5 and 8 until next year, despite strong objections from the Central Council of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the CISCE against the state’s proposal. Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced this on Monday.

The Indian Express first reported on Feb. 21 that the CBSE had expressed doubts about the proposal to the Ministry of Education (MoE). There are nearly 1,300 CBSE schools and 26 CISCE affiliated schools in the state. CISCE conducts the ICSE exam for Class 10 students and the ISC exam for Class 12 students.

“However, Khattar’s announcement on Monday did not refer to the position of the boards of directors or the opposition of the schools and parents. “In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, student studies have been impacted. That is why we have decided to postpone the board exams for grades 5 and 8 for the current session. The board exams will be held next year. For the current session, schools have been asked to conduct the exams at their own level,” Khattar said.

In October 2021, the Board of School Education, Haryana (BSEH) had proposed that board examinations be held for grades 5 and 8 in all government and private schools in Haryana, regardless of the education council they are affiliated with. The move was justified as it would help track students’ progress and conduct a standardized assessment of learning outcomes.

The decision sparked controversy among the state’s private schools affiliated with CBSE and CISCE boards. Private school management associations have opposed this move, insisting that a school affiliated with one board should not be affiliated with another board to conduct board exams.

tThe state government withdrew the order last month after a few schools approached the Supreme Court. However, on January 18, the government issued a notice to change the law on the right to education and appointed the SCERT in Haryana as the “academic authority” to conduct exams for grades 5 and 8. The SCERT trusted BSEH on 28 January responsibility.

According to the order of the state government, all state and private schools were expected to register with the Haryana board before February 20 to conduct 5th and 8th grade exams.

Exacerbated by this development, school associations filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Punjab and Haryana on February 9 to request the suspension of the injunction. The first hearing was on February 10, and the court has reserved its decision on the case until the next hearing on April 4.

Meanwhile, in several parts of the state, parents and students have protested in recent days to ask the state government to cancel the proposed decision to hold board exams for grades 5 and 8. Parents argued that board exams for these classes would create undue stress for students, who as such struggled to bridge learning gaps after repeated school closures and online classes due to the ongoing pandemic for the past two years.

However, with Monday’s development, the problem has been put on the back burner for the time being. “To discuss the issue of conducting board exams for these two classes, a meeting was scheduled for February 25. We’ll see if the meeting should be held now. But we have decided not to hold state council exams for these two classes, for the current session,” Khattar said.

Sajal Jain
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