ICSE cancels Class 10 examinations
The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) late on Monday withdrew its previous decision to postpone Class 10 exams and announced it was cancelling the tests to ensure the safety of students at a time when the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is “worsening”. Class 12 tests will, however, be held at a later date.
The board said earlier it will defer both Class 10 (ICSE) and Class 12 (ISC) exams, initially scheduled from the first month of May. It gave Class 10 students the option to either write the exams later, or get evaluated on the basis of an alternative criteria.
“Given the present worsening situation of Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the CISCE has decided to cancel the ICSE (Class 10) 2021 examination... The safety and well-being of our students is our topmost priority and of paramount interest,” CISCE chief executive and secretary Gerry Arathoon said in a statement on Tuesday.
With Monday’s decision, Class 10 students no longer have the option to appear for the exams. They will, instead, be evaluated on a “fair and unbiased” criteria for evaluation. “The criteria on which basis the results will be declared for the ICSE (Class 10) students and the date of result declaration will be announced by CICSE later,” Arathoon added.
The board’s announcement also comes days after the central government directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel the Class 10 board exams and postpone the Class 12 tests.
The Class 12 (ISC) tests still stand postponed, as per the notification issued by the board on April 16, and a decision on the new dates will be taken in June. In 2020, over 200,000 students appeared for the ICSE Class 10 exams and over 88,000 students for Class 12 exams across the country.
This is also the second year in a row that students will not appear for the Class 10 exams. The CISCE exams were cancelled in 2020 shortly after the pandemic took hold in India. Students were then evaluated on the basis of internal assessment. Students of both classes 10 and 12 were assessed based on the best three percentage marks obtained in subjects for which board exams had already been conducted and the marks of their internal assessment as well as their projects were taken into account.
Parents said that they were relieved. “With the rising infections, it is best not to have exams altogether. The previous circular would have led to confusion and two students from the same class would be evaluated on different marking criteria,” said the parent of an ICSE-affiliated school in Goregaon near Mumbai.
Kavita Sanghvi, principal of Chatrabhuj Narsee Memorial School, in Mumbai’s Vile Parle said, “Students are happy and parents are concerned about the internal marking, report cards and the desire to know how the board plans to work out the logistics.”