Centre cancels Class 12 board exams after review meeting chaired by PM Modi

NEW DELHI: End weeks of uncertainty, the government on Tuesday decided to cancel the CBSE Class 12 board exams due to the Covid-19 situation across the country.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that the interest of students and the anxiety among the students, parents and teachers must be put to an end.

The government had earlier in April cancelled the Class X exams.


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According to the CBSE sources, the Class 12 results will be worked out in line with the “well-defined objective criteria in a time-bound manner developed by the Board for Class 10”. The assessment will be done based on the marks scored by the student in the different tests/exams conducted during the year, sources said.

Sharing the government’s decision on the exams, PM Modi tweeted: “Government of India has decided to cancel the Class XII CBSE Board exams. After extensive consultations, we have taken a decision that is student-friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as the future of our youth.” Around 21.5 lakhs and and 14 lakhs candidates registered for the Class X and XII CBSE Board exams respectively.

The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) too on Tuesday decided to cancel the ISC Class 12 board exams this year in view of the COVID-19 situation, according to its secretary Gerry Arathoon.

“The exams have been cancelled. The alternative assessment criteria will be announced soon,” said Arathoon.

The decision by the council came on the lines of cancellation of the board exams by CBSE.

TOI had first reported on May 14 that the Class 12 exams are likely to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

On May 30, TOI had reported that the results may be based on the previous performance of the student.

While the alternate assessment criteria for the exams has not been finalised by the board yet, the CBSE sources said that it is expected to be on similar lines as announced for Class 10 which took into account the performance of the student in various tests and exams through the year.

“The assessment can either be based on performances in the final exams of the previous three classes (9, 10, 11) or by giving a certain weightage to Class 10 board results combined with internal assessments of Class 12. As per the discussions, the board is unlikely to take into account the Class 9 results. The modalities will be announced in a couple of days,” said a senior official of CBSE.

It was also decided in the meeting that in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by the CBSE, as and when the situation becomes conducive.

‘Well-considered decision’

Welcoming the decision, Ashok Pandey, director, Ahlcon Group of School said: “Under the given circumstances, centre-based examinations were no longer an option. Considering the trauma the children had undergone and the threat of virus and no vaccination for the students doesn’t inspire confidence among the people. This is a well-considered decision by the government and I am happy that the PM has asked for a time-bound transparent and equitable assessment plan to be implemented.”

The decision comes amid the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated the health infrastructure of the country and led to nearly 90 lakh cases in the month of May alone.

PM Modi said the health and safety of students are of utmost importance, and there would be no compromise on this aspect.

He further asserted that all stakeholders need to show sensitivity for the students as well as their parents and teachers.

In the review meeting, the officials gave a detailed presentation on the wide and extensive consultation held so far and views received from all stakeholders, including by the state governments.

Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who was admitted to AIIMS due to post-Covid complication earlier in the day, tweeted: “I wish all the students the very best in their careers. I would like to reiterate the safety and career of students as of paramount importance for Honourable Modi Ji’s Government.”

Mukesh Sharma, a Congress MLA from Delhi, tweeted: “It’s the victory of the students. I am happy that the uncertainty has ended.”

Students’ group like Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Students Islamic Organisation of India and NSUI also welcomed the decision of the government to cancel the exams.

SIO in its statement said: “The delay in decision-making has caused unwarranted uncertainty and anxiety for students at a critical period of their educational journey. … We would also like to take this opportunity to call upon all stakeholders in the field of education, from parents and teachers to policymakers, to re-evaluate the primacy given to exams and the centrality of high stakes annual exams in our entire education system.”

Divya Lal, managing director, Fliplearn said: “We are pleased with government’s decision that has kept student safety above all other concerns. We are hopeful that the chosen criteria for assessing students will be fair and in keeping with students’ efforts through the year. Advances in pedagogy and technology practices in education has already shown that online assessment, made easy with digital technologies, is a powerful tool to evaluate students. The long anxious wait of students has come to an end with this decision of the government.”

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