Board exams for Classes 10 and 12, pending due to the lockdown, could be held in July, after which the schools might re-open, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank told NDTV on Wednesday. He, however, made it clear that the final decisions would depend on the ground situation at the time and the ministry will be guided by the views of the health and the home ministries.
The gradual easing of the lockdown across the country had raised hopes about the reopening of schools and colleges and there has been speculation about a beginning being made in June.
The minister, however, said the any tentative date would be more than a month away. "From July 1 to 15, there will be exams and the schools will open after the exams," the minster told NDTV.
Asked how the exams can be held in July, when the India's coronavirus cases are likely to peak, the minister said: "We cannot predict what will happen in July. We will abide by the home ministry and the health ministry decision. The safety of students will be paramount".
"I am confident the situation will be normal. If it doesn't get better, we will consult the ministry, student, parents. We will consider all the suggestions," the minister added.
Giving a rough timeline, he said the pending board exams will be held in July and university exams in August. The final year students will appear for exams. Students of first and second year will be promoted on the basis of internal assessment.
A task force of the NCERT will assess the situation for reopening of the schools, the University Grants Commission will submit the plan for reopening of colleges.
Schools across the country had shut long before the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 25. Children aged up to 10 being particularly vulnerable to the virus, the primary sections of schools in many states had shut as early as February. Later, the secondary and higher secondary sections were also shut.