Class 12th Exams: ICSE, CBSE weighing options for Class 12th Board Exams, Cancellation also an option
Supreme Court To Hear Plea on cancellation of the board Exams Tomorrow
Union Minister of Education of the view that “limited” format will be Government’s suggestion
Both ICSE and CBSE are contemplating various options, including cancellation, adopting alternative assessment routes or going ahead with exams in truncated format
In view of the raging second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India, both ICSE and CBSE boards are contemplating various options they have in view of the pending Class 12th board examinations. The options include adopting alternative assessment route, downright cancellation of the most important board examinations or going ahead with truncated format for the exams.
According to sources, most stakeholders are of the view of conducting a shorter duration examination for major subjects in August, an option proposed by CBSE board. The other options discussed – that of cancellation or marking students on the basis of their previous performance is finding lesser support.
ICSE board meanwhile, has instructed its affiliate schools to submit average of marks in Class 11 and during the current session, for all those students appearing this year. While the Board has not announced any cancellation yet, it has set a June 7 deadline for the exercise to be completed.
The Union Ministry of Education, said "nothing has been finalised yet and a final decision will be announced by June 1. The minister has already stressed that safety of students is a priority but these exams are crucial too".
If matters were not complex without a clear-cut solution, post a request the Supreme Court too has waded into these murky waters. Supreme Court will hear the matter on May 31 on a plea seeking cancelation of Class 12 exams by CBSE and ISCE amidst the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country and even speculation of a third wave hitting which is supposed to hit those less than 18 years, soon.
"Be optimistic. May be by Monday (May 31), some resolution will be there," a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari told the petitioner during a hearing on Friday.
Pressured by countrywide demands for cancellation by a large section of parents, the Education ministry had to convene a high-level meeting last week to deliberate on the matter which was attended by education ministers and education secretaries of various states.
CBSE was of the view of conducting regular exams for only major subjects at notified centres or holding shorter-duration exams at schools a student is enrolled. The timeline proposed is from July 15 to August 26, with results declaration by September.
Majority of the States, requested for their suggestions by May 25th, have shown inclination towards the second option which included conducting 90 minutes exams for major subjects at student's home schools. Few states also insisted on vaccinating students before the exams.
Both ICSE and CBSE had postponed the Class 12 exams scheduled in May-June in view of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Today Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, dropped hints that the Government was in favour of “limited” format. Pokhriyal said that CBSE may take this decision in order to ensure “safety” and “future” of students.
“Conducting examinations for students in the prevailing Covid scenario is a huge challenge that does not need elaboration. This is especially so, when it comes to the Class XII board examinations, which play a significant role in every student’s career graph and roadmap for life,” says Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal.
“We had faced similar challenges in 2020, too, and we not only successfully carried out the board examinations, but also conducted competitive examinations like JEE and NEET, wherein more than 21 lakh students participated,” he added.