Following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, schools and colleges were closed, and classes, exams, admissions have been conducted online to patch up with the ‘new normal’ life. Let’s quickly check out the major happenings in the education sector of the year 2020.
National Education Policy
National Education Policy or commonly called NEP, is certainly one of the major happenings in the education sector this year. On July 29, 2020, the union cabinet approved the new national education policy intending to introduce many changes in the Indian education system.
The highlights of the NEP include a single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programmes, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities.
CBSE exam postponed
On February 27, 2020, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) postponed the exams scheduled for February 28 and February 29 in violence-hit North East Part and affected areas of Delhi for class 10th and class 12th. This decision was taken as the law and order situation in Delhi’s northeast deteriorated. Later the remaining CBSE and ICSE Board examinations for class 10 were cancelled.
Emerging of online courses
Free online courses have been introduced across the world for those who wanted to upskill themselves and learn something new. While office, school, colleges, and universities were shut, many found this as an opportunity to indulge in online courses. Universities like Harward and Cambridge also introduced free online courses in various subjects including Art & Design, Business, Computer Science, Data Science, Education & Teaching, Health & Medicine, Humanities, Mathematics, Programming.
When coaching centres were shut, exam preparation platforms such as Gradeup continued its classes through online without any hassles. Also, professionals utilised their lockdown time and up skilled themselves through online executive programs and courses offered various websites including TimesPro.
From next year onwards, the National Test Agency will conduct the JEE Main four times instead of two. The union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced this during an online interaction with students, parents, and teachers on Board and competitive exams on December 10, 2020. The test will be held once each month, from February to May. The results will also be announced in four to five days to give a window of around a week to candidates to apply for the subsequent month’s test. Candidates have the option to apply for one Session (February) or more than one Session (March /April /May 2021) together and pay the exam fee accordingly.
Mass promotions for class 1 to 9 students
In 2020, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) promoted all students of classes 1 to 8 irrespective of whether or not they appeared for exams. Due to the pandemic, many states had to cancel annual exams for classes 1 to 9 and 11 to curb the spread of viruses. States thus cancelled the final examinations further promoted all the students to the upper classes without appearing for the exam.
From the next academic session (2021-22), girls are allowed to take the All India Sainik Schools Entrance Examination (AISSEE) for admission to a Sainik School in Class 6. This is the first time that Sainik School will give admission to girls in Class 6. The AISSEE exam for Class 6 admission will be conducted for both boys and girls on January 10 while the entrance exam for Class 9 will be held on the same day for the boys only.