Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 20 June 2021 6.33 PM IST

CBSE Class 12 board exam may be scrapped amid Covid surge, decision soon


NEW DELHI: There has been a growing demand for cancellation of CBSE’s Class12 Board exams this year in view of the surging Covid-19 infections across the country. Though the board is expected to review the situation in two weeks, sources in the ministry of education (MoE) say there is a likelihood of the exams being scrapped.

A senior ministry official said, “Given the current situation, there is possibility of scrapping the exams altogether. CBSE will review the situation and probably would have to work out an alternative assessment scheme for the Class12 students”

“The pandemic situation at present is at least four times worse than last year and schools are likely to stay closed for the rest of the session. Although a final decision is to be taken after a review in June, in the current scenario it is unlikely that exams are going to be conducted anytime soon,” said a senior CBSE official.

However, opinion is divided whether Class XII Boards should be cancelled altogether. Ashok Pandey, director, Ahlcon Group of Schools, New Delhi, believes that if the situation continues to be grim, there will be no other alternative but to cancel the exams. He said the trauma that children are experiencing should not be added to by dithering about the board exams. “It is obvious now that exams cannot take place in June and to wait wishfully for a later date conducive for examination is entirely untenable.”

In Pune, Nirmal Waddan, principal of The Kalyani School, agrees. “Unfortunately, CBSE or any education board for that matter does not have any choice left, but to immediately declare the cancellation of exams.”

However, others feel that board exams should be conducted, even if that means waiting for another six months. Former CBSE Chairperson Ashok Ganguly said, “It is expected that the situation will definitely improve in the coming days and we can conduct the Class XII exam sometime in the month of July. The summative exam is essential because it is the end of school education and we don’t have any credible formative assessment in place. Earlier, we had continuous and comprehensive evaluation which was subsequently discontinued.”

K R Venugopal, vice chancellor, Bangalore University said: “The exams should not be cancelled. We can wait for a few months for the pandemic to subside. A delay of three to four months in life means nothing to a person in the long run.”

Some educationists felt online exams can be considered as an option, rather than cancellation. Anand Bhalerao, principal and dean, college of engineering, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune said: “The solution lies in adapting fast to the changing conditions by using digital mediums to conduct examinations in a fair manner.”

Caught in the uncertainty, students remain an anxious lot. “I want the exams to be cancelled. It's hard to study and be motivated for an exam you do not know when it will be held,” said Bhadra Anil, Class XII student of Whitefield Global School, Bengaluru.

Dr Mary Chacko, mother of an ISC candidate, said: “The priority right now is keeping students and teachers safe. The boards should publish results based on internal marks but give option for an improvement exam.”

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