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CBSE, ISCE Class XII Board Exams cancelled

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Giving in to the intense pressure exerted by the students and experts for cancellation of class 12 examinations, the Government on June 1 acted to end the dilemma over conducting of these exams by announcing their cancellation.

Ending uncertainty of several weeks, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted the decision after a high level review meeting on the issue.  The meeting chaired by him significantly was attended by union ministers of Home, Defence, Finance, Commerce, Information & Broadcasting, Petroleum and Women & Child Development Ministries and Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary & Secretaries of School Education & Higher Education Departments  and other officials. Curiously, Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, who till the other day seemed to be in favor of holding these exams couldn’t attend the meeting as he was admitted to AIIMS the same day because of post-covid complications.

After extensive consultations, we have taken a decision that is student-friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as future of our youth,” said PM in his tweet. He said that the Covid situation is a dynamic situation across the country. While the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation through effective micro-containment, some states have still opted for a lockdown. Students, parents and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation. PM said that students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation.The Prime Minister stressed that the health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect. He said that in today’s time, such exams cannot be the reason to put our youth at risk.

In the late evening the same day (June 1) CISCE, the other major national school board also announced cancellation of its ISC examination. “In view of the present situation of the Covid19 pandemic in the country, the CISCE has decided to cancel the ISC (class XII) examination. The results will be processed on a mechanism which will also include the internal exams conducted by the schools. The schools will be informed in due course of time, of this mechanism,” said a statement issued by Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive  & Secretary.

As decision of national boards serve as a model for state boards, most states are likely to imitate CBSE and cancel their class 12 examinations. Chhattisgarh has already conducted its scheme of home-based open book examination in the first week of June. 

 

Reactions:

 “It is relieving to know that we don’t have to go through the stressful situation of appearing physically for the examination not knowing what we might be exposed to. However, I am anxious to know about my final CBSE results. Our 12th examination is a determining factor for our future, so I hope Universities are considerate and will look at alternative and comprehensive ways of evaluating basis our merit during admission procedure” Says Aditya Chandra, XII (Science), Global Indian International School (GIIS) Noida 

 “Keeping in mind the surging risk of infection via the detrimental coronavirus, I  understand and laud Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s decision to cancel Class 12 board exams. The announcement repressed the uncertainty that would have otherwise affected the youth and also met the trending #cancelboardexams2021 demand of students and industry bodies while ascertaining that the academic calendar will not be affected further,” Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Provost – HSNC University

“A decision taken in the best interest of the children. However, the next step is equally critical and crucial in terms of deciding the process and criteria based on which the children’s performance will be gauged. This should be done keeping in mind that many of them make that extra effort during the last mile and hence, should be given due advantage,” Charu Wahi, Principal, Nirmal Bhartia School

 “The decision on cancellation of board exams has provided some clarity and assuaged stress levels among students and parents. It wouldnt have been an easy decision given the criticality of grade 12 exams on university admissions. The govt. didn’t have much choice as health of students is paramount. The challenge now is for CBSE to arrive at an alternative criterion to determine grade 12 marks. Any delay or any confusion on the new grading criteria will lead to more confusion and stress among students. Clear directions should also be provided to Indian universities to modify their admissions criteria so meritocracy and fairness is not compromised,” Vishnu Karthik, CEO, The Heritage Schools

“Given the current situation, it is the right decision to cancel the CBSE Board exams. There is no way we could have held exams without compromising the safety of children. While we welcome the decision, we hope the modalities would be worked out quickly in consultation with stakeholders. Since 12th marks are important factor that affects students’ career, we expect CBSE to ensure students don’t get affected with the methodology of awarding marks,” Praveen Raju, Co-Chair, FICCI ARISE; Founder, Suchitra Academy

“These have been turbulent times for the entire academic community. Students and parents have been under tremendous pressure and the uncertainty of examination timeline, format, syllabus etc. have kept them anxious and concerned. The decision of examination cancelation puts an end to the impending wait but might also create an environment of vagueness. Detailed clarity on the scheme of marking and result creation will help students and teachers understand how the mechanics would play out. These details will also help students make an appropriate career decision and choose their future path. Having said that, safety and wellbeing of all students is paramount and as we battle this deadly pandemic, it is imperative to prioritize health and life over anything else,” Sulekha Sharma, PGT-English, Global Indian International School (GIIS) Noida

“Given the mental and emotional turmoil the country is going through due to the pandemic, and the physical threat of infection, I certainly believe the wisest choice has been made. The other alternative, which was to conduct delayed examinations, would inevitably have had a detrimental knock-on effect on next year’s learning through a shorter academic year for those continuing in school or going on to college, and it is good from a long term perspective that that has been avoided,Dr Jitin Chadha, founder & director, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF) .

We are in full agreement with Govt.’s timely decision of cancelling Class XII examinations, thereby ending the uncertainty and anxiety prevailing in the minds of the students preparing for the exams. The presence of Hon’ble PM in the meeting, epitomises the importance that he associates with the wellbeing of the youth, who shall be the torch bearers of the country tomorrow. It is important to note that an option has been provided to students who wish to appear for the exams at a later date, when the situation becomes conducive for conduct of exams. Additionally, a well-defined, time bound criterion, will be ensured for assessment. Admission in undergraduate courses, across India and internationally, are dependent on Class XII results, therefore, the sooner these details are announced, better it would be for the students, their parents, and the entire academic community. We wish all Class XII students the very best for their future. In these tough times, it is crucial to remain resilient and optimistic,”  Rajiv Bansal, Director-Operations – Global Indian International School (GIIS), India

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