Central Board of Secondary Education is one of the biggest education boards in India and is responsible for managing the curriculum and exams in all the schools affiliated with it. Recently, there has been a major reshuffle in the CBSE. The central government has recently appointed a new Chairman for the CBSE. The New Chairman is Mr. Manoj Ahuja who is a 1990 batch Odisha cadre officer. His appointment is one of the nineteen appointments recently approved by the central government. Mr. Manoj Ahuja is presently working as the Special Director for the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration with the  Department of Personnel and Training.

 

A Lot On Hand For The New Chairman

 Due to the nationwide Lockdown, CBSE has recently had its hands full with numerous challenges. Now, that a new Chairman has been appointed, it is yet to be seen how the CBSE copes with the challenges on hand. Mr. Manoj Ahuja will be replacing Ms Anita Karwal, who has recently been appointed as the Secretary, Department of Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development. While announcing the appointment of Mr. Ahuja as the new Chairman, CBSE tweeted on 12th May 2020 that,

 

CBSE gets new Chairman Shri Manoj Ahuja, IAS (OR:90), Special Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Department of Personnel and Training has been appointed as Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education today @DrRPNishank @PIB_India @PTI_News.

 

Challenges Facing CBSE In The Wake Of The Lockdown

Due to the lockdown, board exams for class 10th and 12th students got postponed, and as a result, several exams were left to be conducted. The exams kept on getting postponed as the lockdown kept on getting extended. Now, that the dates for the pending CBSE Board Exams have been announced by the HRD Ministry, Mr. Ahuja will now have to ensure smooth organization for the 10th and 12th class board exams. The new date sheet has now yet been released, but it has been informed that the exams will be conducted between 1st to 15th July 2020.

 

The major challenge for the board would be to complete the evaluation process in the wake of the lockdown and social distancing norms. Many evaluation centres are falling in the red zone, so getting them working during the lockdown will be a huge challenge. CBSE needs to develop a roadmap for the evaluation process immediately because it would anyways take some time to declare the results.

 

The new academic session in universities in India will be starting in August, as per recommendations of UGC and AICTE. So, it is important that the results for CBSE Board Exams 2020 are declared as soon as possible so that the universities also get time for completing the admission process.

 

 

In order to assess the impact of the coronavirus and plan the way forwards, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been holding review meetings pertaining to various sectors of the economy. Recently, he held a meeting with the HRD Minister, Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal, Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah, Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, and other senior officials of the government.

 

During the meeting, the impact of the lockdown on the education sector was considered along with issues and reforms required in the sector. National Education Policy (NEP) was also discussed in the meeting.

 

In this review meeting pertaining to the education sector, major emphasis was laid on enhancing and improving the learning experience by integrating the latest technology in the education sector. Options like using education portals, conducting online classes, and class-wise broadcast on education channels were also explored.

 

The official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office states that “The focus was on bringing uniformity in education providing universal access to quality education, improving the quality of elementary education, through a new national curriculum framework that focuses on multi-linguistic, 21st-century skills, integration of sport and art, environmental issues, etc.”

It further added that “The use and promotion of technology in various modes for education at school and higher levels was discussed in detail – i.e., online mode, TV channels, radio, podcasts, etc. Reforming the higher education scenario by making Indian Education System at par with the highest global standards making education effective, inclusive, contemporary rooted in the Indian culture and ethos.”

 

The prime minister, senior ministers, and other senior officials also emphasized on the importance of adopting contemporary pedagogy, early childhood care, and education, rationalization of education, foundational literacy and numeracy, along with the preservation of linguistic and cultural diversity of India.

 

The statement from the PMO further elaborated on the decision to usher in reforms in the education sector to make India the knowledge “Superpower” by the creation of a vibrant knowledge society based on the better quality of education. In order to ensure time-bound achievement of these goals and effective educational governance, the latest technologies like Artificial technology will be aggressively promoted.

 

Due to the nationwide lockdown expected to continue for another few weeks, it is important for the government to ensure that the education and learning processes do not stop.

As students are unable to move out of their homes and the schools and colleges might not open before July, using technological innovations is the only way forward. In the coming days, some significant announcements pertaining to the education sector can be expected from the government.