The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education council has said it will conduct board examinations for students of Class 5 and Class 8 starting 2018-19. The results will have no bearing on a student’s promotion to the next class, but will be conducted only to assess students’ understanding of the subjects. The exams will be held alongside the schools’ annual exams, The Telegraph reported.

“Students will not need any preparation [for the board exams],”chief executive and secretary of the council, Gerry Arathoon, told the newspaper. “They will not have to recall what they have learnt. Instead, they will be required to apply their knowledge and skills to solving problems. They will need to think creatively according to their age.”

The board exams will only be conducted for four subjects – English, mathematics, science and social studies. The exam papers will be evaluated by teachers of different schools, as it happens in Class 10 or Class 12 board examinations. The question paper will be prepared by the board.

Moreover, through these examinations, school teachers will also be evaluated. If a student has fared poorly in a particular subject, then the teacher concerned will be given lower marks as well, Arathoon said. “The assessment tests in Class 5 will be conducted to check what the students have learned since preschool, and the same tests in Class 8 will be conducted to check what they have learned from Class 6 onwards,” Arathoon said, according to The Indian Express.

New subjects in the curriculum

Arathoon said subjects such as performing arts, Sanskrit, mass communication, physical education and yoga will be introduced in the curriculum for students from the 2018-19 academic year. Performing arts, physical education and yoga will be compulsory for students from Classes 1 to 8, while Sanskrit will be optional from Classes 5 to 8, The Telegraph reported.

Uniform syllabus

Starting next year, it will also be mandatory for all ICSE-affiliated schools to follow a uniform syllabus from nursery to Class 10, Arathoon said, according to Hindustan Times. So far, the schools were allowed to decide their own syllabus for these classes.

Digital lockers

The board will also introduced a DigiLocker system, through which students can access digital documents. However, it will be mandatory for students to link their DigiLocker to their Aadhaar. “We are requesting schools to make sure they ask the students to register with their Aadhaar number by this year, so that the Aadhaar-linked DigiLocker system can finally be in place as soon as possible,” Arathoon said according to NDTV.