Moving towards a more inclusive and easily accessible education system, the Ministry of Education has announced that Board examinations will be conducted twice a year, and students will get an option to retain their best score. The Ministry’s novel National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for School Education 2023 intends to alleviate the intense pressure frequently linked with single annual exams.
“Board examinations should be offered at least twice a year to ensure that students have enough time and opportunity to perform well. Students can then appear for a Board examination in subjects they have completed and feel ready for,” as per the NCF document which was made public on August 23, 2023. The objective is to provide students with ample time and chances to excel. This way, students can opt to take board exams in subjects they have covered and feel prepared for, fostering a more favorable learning environment.
According to NCF, students in Class 11 and 12 will be required to study two languages, with at least one of them being an Indian language. In the new framework, it is recommended that students from grades 6 to 10 should learn a minimum of two Indian languages, while students in grades 11 and 12 need to study at least one Indian language. The NCF suggests that pursuing multiple languages will “broaden students’ horizons” and help in developing deeper connection with the country.
Moreover, the NCF proposes the elimination of rigid distinctions between Arts and Sciences, as well as between curricular and extracurricular activities, and vocational and academic pathways. It further recommends that the selection of subjects in classes 11 and 12 should not be confined to categories like arts, science, and commerce, providing students with the freedom to make flexible choices. “In due course of time, school boards are to develop capacities to offer ‘on demand’ exams. Besides board exam test developers and evaluators will have to go through university-certified courses before taking up this work,” it said.
The updated framework has highlighted the intention to move away from the traditional practice of ‘covering’ textbooks in classrooms. Additionally, the Ministry also emphasized the need to optimize the cost of textbooks as well, ensuring that quality education remains accessible to all.