Covid: CBSE calls off Class X exams, defers Class XII boards
The government on Wednesday cancelled the CBSE Class X board exams and postponed the Class XII test in view of the spike in Covid cases.
Nearly 21.5 lakh Class X students and another 14 lakh Class XII pupils were to take the CBSE board exams, which were to be held from May 4 to June 14.
This is the first time a CBSE board exam has been cancelled fully. Last year, the exams had been partially cancelled in the wake of riots in northeast Delhi and rising Covid-19 cases.
The situation will be reviewed on June 1 before a decision is taken on the Class XII exams. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the exams.
“The results of Class Xth Board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board. Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams,” said a release issued by the department of school education and literacy, ministry of education.
“The Board Exams for Class XIIth to be held from May 4th to June 14th, 2021, are hereby postponed. These exams will be held hereafter. The situation will be reviewed on 1st June 2021 by the Board, and details will be shared subsequently. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations,” the release added.
The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Sunday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had written to the education minister seeking a cancellation of the CBSE exams. She followed this up with tweets repeating the demand.
Rahul Gandhi also called on the government to reconsider its decision to hold the exams, as did Arvind Kejriwal and the Shiv Sena.
Parents and students appeared relieved by the announcement. School principals and educationists welcomed the decision but cautioned that the board should enforce a robust formative assessment in schools that can be used to grade students.
Because of the exponential rise in Covid cases, schools have been shut down in 11 states. States like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab have already postponed their Classes X and XII board exams.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), another national board, is expected to take a decision soon, an official said.
Former CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly said the boards must put in place a robust formative assessment system. The international boards that cancelled their exams last year had relied on formative assessment that, besides covering internal assessment, includes diagram drawings, group activities, extra-curricular activities, games and surveys.
“The boards will have to enforce proper formative assessment in schools. They have to lessen their dependence on one-time paper-pencil tests. In case of any eventuality, the formative assessments should be enough to judge the students objectively,” Ganguly said.
Anu Rai, a Class XII student of a Delhi government school, said the project-based learning conducted online did not offer a level playing field for all.
“Students who have gadgets and Internet did well. I could not take part in all the online classes. We have one mobile phone at home and we are three brothers and sisters,” she said.
Anu said the Class XII exams should be held offline.