Students' safety National

CBSE, CISCE scrap Class XII exams after review by PM

The Shiksha Sadan which houses the CBSE at Rouse Avenue in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

The Class 12 examinations of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have been cancelled, following a review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening.

“In view of the uncertain conditions due to COVID and the feedback obtained from various stakeholders, it was decided that Class XII Board Exams would not be held this year. It was also decided that CBSE will take steps to compile the results of class XII students as per a well-defined objective criteria in a time-bound manner,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office issued after the meeting.

However, in case some students wish to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by CBSE, as and when the situation becomes conducive, said the statement. The same option was offered last year as well.

Following the meeting, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations also decided to cancel its Class 12 examinations.

No word on JEE, NEET

The issue of all India professional entrance tests such as JEE and NEET was not discussed at the meeting, according to officials present.

CBSE is yet to announce its alternative assessment method. A senior CBSE official told The Hindu that one option being considered is grading based on the student’s internal assessment and practical exam scores from Class 12, rationalised according to analysis of the school’s mark distribution in the board exams over the last three years. Another option would be grading based on the student’s final exam scores from Class 9,10 and 11.

At the review meeting, attended by senior Cabinet Ministers and Education Ministry officials, a detailed presentation was made on consultations held so far and views received from all stakeholders, including State governments.

“After extensive consultations, we have taken a decision that is student-friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as future of our youth,” Mr. Modi tweeted after the meeting.

Although some State governments, including Delhi and Maharashtra had called for the examinations to be cancelled, most States had favoured holding a truncated version of the exams, with objective type question papers.

About 14 lakh students had registered to write the examination, which was originally scheduled to be held in May.

Faced with the second wave of the pandemic in April, the Centre then cancelled Class 10 exams and postponed Class 12 exams, promising a review of the situation by June 1.

A large section of students and parents had called for Class 12 exams to be cancelled, and took their plea to the courts as well. On Monday, the Centre told the Supreme Court it would announce a decision by Thursday. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had advocated for cancellation, congratulated “students of class 12 for making your voices heard” in a tweet.

According to the PMO statement, Mr. Modi stressed that the health and safety of students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect. He urged all stakeholders to show sensitivity for students and noted that the Covid situation is a dynamic one, with some states still under lockdown.

In today’s time, such exams cannot be the reason to put youth at risk, said the Prime Minister, adding that COVID-19 has already affected the academic calendar and the issue of board exams has been causing immense anxiety among students, parents and teachers.

The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, as well as the School and Higher Education Secretaries. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank did not participate as he has been hospitalised for post-COVID complications.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:05:42 PM |

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