CBSE Class 12 board exam 2021: Covid uncertainty drives Class XII students to wall

NEW DELHI: Vijayta Sethi is exasperated and constantly asks, “Why should it only happen to us? We spent the last year of school at home and just when we were looking forward to college, we are stuck.” Sethi and other Class XII students are ‘stuck’ because the Central Board of Secondary Education hasn’t yet decided whether it will hold the board exams that will see the students end their schooling.

There is growing consensus that assessment should be done on a non-exam basis now, as was notified for Class X.

Though CBSE has said a decision in this regard will be taken on June 1 after considering the Covid-19 situation then, Jyoti Arora, principal, Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, is certain that in June too, the exams may not be possible. She said, “Alternative arrangements can be made to have an internal assessment, like in Class X. It is a pandemic year — how long are we going to put students through stress?”


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Rishi Jain, whose son studies at Amity School, pointed out, “There are no vaccines for children, so I cannot even think of sending him to write the board exams. When international boards can do away with the graduating exams, why can’t India find some means to assess them?”

For Class X, the final scores will be declared based on pre-board exam marks, internal assessment, and the half-yearly and periodic tests.

One alternative suggested by Dr. S P Aggarwal, principal of Delhi University’s Ramanujan College, is to allow schools to assess the Class XII students. “The schools conduct exams from time to time, so their assessment can be used. If the results are declared, the children are rid of the uncertainty hanging over their heads. If CBSE delays the board results, college admission will be delayed,” he said.

Internal assessment can be a solution, agreed Tania Joshi, principal of The Indian School, but she had one concern, first noticed with Class X assessment. “The scoring in schools in the pre-board exams are uneven. Some schools are very strict with the marking, some only had offline exams and others offered a choice between offline and online exams,” said Joshi. “Online and offline exams aren’t the same.”

In Delhi government schools, the pre-board exams were all held offline.

There, however, is no confusion in colleges, where the final year exams are a must. “If final year exams aren’t conducted, the issue of authenticity crops up. But colleges have time,” said Aggarwal. D S Rawat, dean of examination, DU, added, “Last year, educational institutions across the globe closed down due to Covid-19. We are not sure if the new academic session there will be postponed, so our students have to submit their graduation results by August-end.”

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