The National Examination Board has started laying the groundwork for conducting the long-awaited examination of Grade XII from the second week of August.

The NEB, a body responsible for holding national level examinations conducted by the federal government, has asked the government for permission to take the examination in the newly stipulated time. The examination of Grade XII was set to be held on June 9, but the government decided to cancel the examination due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

As COVID-19 cases have started to decline in the country of late, the authorities have decided to hold the examination without further ado.

NEB Chairperson Chandra Mani Paudel told THT that it had written a formal letter to the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre, an apex government body, to make all kinds of decisions related to COVID-19 cases.

"We have written to the government and are confident that it will rectify our request to allow us to hold the examination as per our request,"

Paudel said. He further appealed to all the students to start preparing for the examination as they didn't have much time left for the same.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the education system hard as students are deprived of classes in schools and are being upgraded to upper levels on the basis of internal evaluation provided by the schools.

This year, Grade XII students have hardly attended four months of physical classes. While many private schools claimed they completed the courses through online education, many public schools have not completed their courses.

Last year, the government was forced to hold the examination on November 24, months later than the stipulated date. As the majority of schools had not completed their courses, the government had decided to take physical examination for only 40 per cent marks. It had also downsized the duration of physical examination time to 1.5 hours. This examination style had drawn flak after many complained that it was hardly close to the evaluation system of students.

NEB is not in the mood to follow last year's examination model this year around.

"This year, we will conduct the examinations for 100 marks like in pre-COVID times. Let the students, teachers and guardians know that examinations will be held with the physical presence of students and evaluation will be made on the basis of students' examination answer sheets," Paudel said.

Around 450,000 students will take the examination this year.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 6 2021, of The Himalayan Times.