Kapil Sibal for optional Class X exams from 2010

However, he observed that nothing would be done without a consensus. The minister also said in the first phase only those schools, which are affiliated to the CBSE, would be asked to implement it.

“We will start consultations very soon and if there is consensus then the 2010 Board examinations can be optional,” Sibal told reporters here on Tuesday.

The minister also mentioned that for the first time grades would be introduced for the CBSE students in the Class X Board examinations from next year.

Now, the grading system is there from Classes I to Class V and the CBSE would be writing to the schools to introduce it from Classes VI to VIII as soon as possible.

Listing out his activities in the next 100 days, the minister had said class X examinations should be made optional thus permitting students to continue in the same school (if the school has Classes XI and XII) if they do not need a board certificate. They could take an internal school assessment instead. 

“But we will initiate a national debate on this issue and no one should misunderstand us that we are going to impose it without evolving a consensus,” he said.

Responding to the sharp reaction from the Left and BJP-ruled states on this issue, the minister said the matter should be taken up with the states only after it was implemented in the CBSE schools and was acceptable to all the stakeholders.

“No question of this being imposed on the state boards as we have to take care of the diversity of the country and the regional needs. Moreover, some of the state boards have a poor academic standard and they should come up before such a system is introduced,” he said.

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