NEW DELHI: The Federation on India Chambers of Commerce and Industry has written to the central government to cancel the class XII board examinations, cautioning that the current situation due to Covid-19 is not conducive for conducting physical examinations.
Meanwhile, according to CBSE officials though all the three options have been under consideration — exams in major subjects or truncated exams in major subjects and even cancellation — the board is more inclined towards Option A, expecting that the situation will be conducive for preparation by mid-June.
FICCI president Uday Shankar in his letter to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that an alternate solution should be devised to determine academic progression instead of conducting physical or online examinations.
He said that a delayed examination schedule will not only affect those students seeking admission in Indian higher educational institutions but also jeopardize the dreams of especially those aiming to pursue higher education overseas. “Covid cases in the country are still very high… As such, the current situation is not conducive to conduct in-person examinations and holding an online examinations is impractical given the lack of infrastructure; most importantly, any further delay will lead to distress among students. Against this backdrop, FICCI strongly recommends that Class XII board examinations should be called off,” said Shankar.
More than five lakh Indian students go abroad every year and over two lakh have confirmed offers of admission this year.
While there had been a broad consensus among states/ UTs about conducting class XII board exams and Pokhriyal said that an “informed, collaborative” decision will be taken by June 1, according to a senior CBSE official, “As of now no final decision has been taken. At CBSE however, we are inclined to have the exams in case the situation is conducive. And we are expecting the situation to improve by mid-June. In case the situation remains grim the option of further postponing or cancellation is always there and alternate assessment will be rolled out.”
Shankar however said that foreign universities are unlikely to relax their timelines in order to accommodate a delayed examination schedule and due to this students who have secured admission in those universities will be left in the lurch if the process is drawn out.
“It is imperative, therefore, that the Class XII evaluation process is completed by mid-July so that there is a smooth transition to higher education for all students,” wrote the FICCI president, while suggesting that the CBSE should allow schools to take into consideration marks scored in several tests/ exams conducted during the academic year 2020-21 and assign appropriate weightage in order to arrive at the marks for each student.
A review committee headed by the principal should be formed at the school level which shall also include two external education experts apart from select teaching staff to prepare fair and unbiased results of the students, which should be in sync with the historical performance of the school.
He suggested that if a significant number of students are not satisfied with the internal grades, the government may consider giving them an opportunity to sit for an exam to be held at a later date when the situation is more conducive.
“As such, a once in a century pandemic calls for an out-of-the-box solution which is in the best interests of students who have already been subjected to a lot of stress and uncertainty,” he added.
Courtesy – TOI