COVID-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide, leading to closures of businesses, schools, colleges, and company layoffs. The Economy has come to a roadblock worldwide. The second wave of the virulent proved way more fatal compared to the first one. Class 10 Boards was scrapped, citing safety concerns amidst the pandemic. The exams of class 12 students remained due, leaving the students in a quandary.
The Central Government on June 1 announced scrapping CBSE class 12 exams scheduled this year after a high-level meeting chaired by PM Modi. The criteria mandated for marking is akin to the class 10th Boards marking scheme.
PM Modi stated that the decision comes in the students' interests due to looming uncertainties in the pandemic. The CISCE and other state boards, including Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa, and Uttarakhand, have followed suit, and a few remaining states are yet to take a call.
Preparation of the results will be as per well-defined objective criteria within a stipulated time. The government has directed the national board to provide an option to the students who wish to take exams only when the situation becomes conducive.
The move has garnered mixed reactions from the students. The news has brought relief for some, disappointment for some but has left everyone edgy over the marking scheme.
The faction of students who had studied hard round the year is left half-hearted, another faction who believes health comes above all is content.
The question is whether the marking scheme will prove fair to all the students. What will the marking pattern encompass? Will it be an aggregate of year-long tests, projects, and the pre-board exams? These are some of the questions in the minds of students.
According to industry experts, class 12 exams are indispensable for evaluating and judging the students' performance who wish to apply for various entrance exams, and canceling the exams might not serve justice to many. Many have suggested the exams should be postponed to a later date when the situation is conducive.
Dr. Reeta Sonawat, Member of Advisory Council, Association of Indian Schools, suggested an alternative to canceling the exams, "These are unprecedented times. Instead of canceling the Class 12 exams, there is a need to think out-of-the-box and plan to conduct the exams differently. Since the announcement of lockdown last year, teachers and students are doing their job quite efficiently. However, canceling the exam outright is certainly not a solution. There is a pressing need for coming up with alternative solutions in conducting the exams this year. We can look for continuous assessment, whereby 50% marks could be considered based on the online exam and 50% through continuous evaluation, which involves taking into account various parameters like regularity, punctuality, homework, class test, term exams, classwork participation, among others."
Students and academic counselors apprehend that an assessment model taking the average of the entire year tests may lead to a preferential basis for admissions to colleges.
The majority of students are concerned about the admission procedure. Students who want to take up architecture, medicine, or engineering have exams like NEET and JEE, and other Common Entrance Exams. But the students, especially those from arts and commerce, fear that scores based on internal evaluation might impact their admission to the college.
There is a proposal to conduct offline exams for those students who are not satisfied with the score assigned by their schools. But this has left the students planning to study abroad in the lurch. Since most foreign universities will begin the admission process in a few weeks and an exam score obtained after several months will prove futile.
Therefore, it is imperative to chalk out such a marking scheme that would serve justice to every student.
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